Monuments in Berlin

Haus des LehrersfillTelefunken High-Rise

"Haus des Lehrers"
Berlin-Mitte, Alexanderplatz 3-4,
1961-64 by Hermann Henselmann

Telefunken High-Rise
Berlin-Charlottenburg, Ernst Reuter Platz 7,
1958-60 by Schwebes & Schoszberger

Post-War Memorials

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Listing as Protected Historic Monuments

The belief in progress of the post-war era manifested itself in the giants of construction that in both East and West marked the focus of the newly developed inner city: Based on plans by the architects Schwebes & Schoszberger, a 22-story Telefunken high-rise rose skywards from 1958 to 1960 at Ernst Reuter Platz, at that time the highest building in all of Berlin. It was set apart by its slightly outward-directed lengthwise sides. In contrast to this, the 12-story "Haus des Lehrers" ("Teacher's House") was built in the center of the eastern part of the city between 1961 and 1964. Hermann Henselmann - top architect for East Germany and up to that time, chief exponent of the "National Building Tradition" - chose the form of a box for this high-rise, a solution that was typical for skyscraper architecture of international modern style. Following the style of contemporary Mexican murals, the high-rise received a monumental colored frieze by Walter Womacka. Together with the neighboring domed "Kongresshalle", the "Haus des Lehrers" forms an exciting ensemble at Alexanderplatz. Today these types of high-rises seem rather humble, since the television tower finished in 1969 blasted all benchmarks for height.

In the meantime, the buildings from the 1950s and 60s, once hailed as signs of progress, have become old. What was once celebrated appears today to be forgotten. Post-war architecture is now accused of being without both history and taste. It seems to be a repeatedly occurring phenomenon that the older generation no longer stands by its own works, while young people hold the achievements of their parents to be outmoded. But what is once torn down is lost forever. The post-war era must remain available for coming generations to experience. The buildings of a modern style turned outdated, the witnesses of the cold war represent confidence and the determination to rebuild in war-torn Berlin. There is no other place in the world where people can experience the architectural-political concepts and controversies of two adversarial systems next to each other within one city. Post-war architecture documents an important stage of German history. Berlin needs these architectural witnesses to time!

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