This is the ´Haus der Schweiz` (Unter den
Linden Ecke Friedrichstraße) decorated with Nazi-german and italian
flags during the state visit of italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini
in Berlin (27.09.-29.09.1937).
He met with Hitler in Munich and the two
leaders also toured other parts of Germany. During the state visit,
Mussolini attended a military parade in Berlin to celebrate the two
powers alliance, the so-called Berlin-Rome Axis. The red buses in the
foreground were part of a sightseeing tour (“Rundfahrten” reads the
The employees of the Swiss companies, which until 1945 had had their
headquarters in the house, had largely fled in the turmoil of the last
years of the war from Berlin, but the house remained the property of the
“House of Switzerland GmbH”.
In 1994, a Swiss jeweler opened a branch in the completely renovated Haus der Schweiz, which has since been listed as a historic monument, given it an enterely new interior design.
den Linden nr 24 with corner Friedrichstraße nr 155 in 1940, during the
happy days of the Third Reich. At left corner, can be seen the “Haus der Schweiz” . At right, the famous Café Viktoria.]
In the corner which Unter den Linden meets Friedrichstraße, there is a
house with more than 75 years of history in Berlin. Today, this
building stands as one of the original places of the city and a survivor
of the Allied bombing campaign and the Luftangriffe of the Second World War.
The house was built during 1934-1936 by Swiss architect Ernst Meier-Appenzell with a clean façade, an arcade and rectangular windows, in a monumental building style. The client was the “Haus der Schweiz GmbH”, to which the Swiss bank Leu, the Swiss bank and the Swiss Federal Railways had joined forces. Like many Swiss companies, they had considerable sums of German Reichsmark.
[This image shows that same corner after the war´s end. The Café
Viktoria placed at the right corner was totally wiped out by bomb damage
during the final two years of the conflict. The Swiss building has
survived the bombing of Berlin relatively intact.]
[Photo Deutsche Fotothek.]
these were classified by the Nazis as “Sperrmark”, however, a transfer
of the money into Switzerland would have been associated with
considerable price losses. Instead, the three companies bought a plot of
land on the corner of Friedrichstraße/ Unter den Linden and had a
six-storey business and office building built there – “at the first
business location of the Reich capital”. The property was intended as a
financial investment, but served at the same time also quite
In the shops on the ground floor, the Swiss Tourist Office opened a branch (´Schweizer Verkehrsbüro`), where citizens could book train journeys to Switzerland.
the war, this zone was severely damaged by Allied bombings and the
Soviet offensive, but thanks to the modern construction method, this
building survived the bombing of Berlin at the end of war as the only
one in the area relatively intact.
[Another view of Berliners working on the debris after the war in front of the Haus der Schweiz at Friedrichstraße/corner Unter den Linden. Notice that the Tell bronze sculpture has survived intact.]
view of the US-Embassy in Berlin. In the roof of the embassy – the
‘Blücher Residence’ at the Pariser Platz Square – was painted during
1940 the inscription ‘USA’ to be recognizable from the air, to avoid
being attacked by British bombers. The United States remained neutral
following the outbreak of World War II, until Hitler declared war on 8
December 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the
This place was acquired as embassy building by the US in
Next to the Dreifaltigkeitskirche three
domestic houses were built in 1738 and used as a vicarages/rectorie for
the preachers of the Holy Trinity Church in the canon road for the
Lutheran pastor, the Glinka for the Reformed Church, and a corner house
for sexton, organist and church workers. The three
survived the bombing raids, but one was destroyed by Red Army soldiers
in 1945, after supposedly they found in the basement uniforms from the
First World War, which they considered for Nazi uniforms. This view of
Glinkastraße/Taubenstraße compares the 1952 year condition with the
yellow parish today.
A “rubble woman” [Trümmerfrau] taps the
remaining mortar away from a brick on Mauerstraße, near the Church of
the Trinity, the Dreifaltigkeitskirche. The church ruins can be seen in
the background, destroyed during the British bombings of November 1943,
it was demolished in 1947.
[Photo: Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz.]
This 1931 view shows the eastern entrance of
the Dreifaltigkeitskirche at Zietenplatz long before the Luftangriffe,
with its big dome intact. Bismarck, Paul von Hindenburg and Kaiser
Wilhelm were among the usual parishioners of this church. The building right next is the Kaiserhof Hotel and the U-bahn is Kaiserhof (today´s U-Bhf. Mohrenstrasse).
[Luftwaffe crews and German civilians inspecting the wreckage of Whitley bomber T4170 GE-T from No 58 RAF
Squadron. This aircraft, flown by F/O Jack Champness crew, was shot
down near Westerwede, Germany in their way to bomb Berlin on the night
of 14/15 November 1940. The Whitley was hit by flak from the 3./Flak Regiment 26;
all five crewmembers were killed and buried at Worpswede until 1947.
That night, Bomber Command lost 10 aircraft -the worst night since the
start of the war. Photo: Aircrewremembered.]
Following the outbreak of war in September 1939, the Whitley participated in the first RAF
bombing raid upon Reich territory and remained an integral part of the
early British bomber offensive until the introduction of
four-engined heavies RAF bombers. It was an outclassed design, so in 1942 was retired from bombing service.
[The pilot of a Whitley bomber gives the ‘thumbs up’, 29 August 1940.]
It participated, along with Hampdens and Wellingtons in the first British-attack over Berlin on the night of 25 August 1940.
With 1,814 Whitleys built, they flew a total of 8,996 operations with
Bomber Command, with 9,845 tons of bombs dropped and 269 of them were
lost in action.
[An Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber being readied for another sortie over Germany. It belongs to No 58 Squadron and is seen at RAF Linton on Ouse dispersal.]