Haute Vitrine

PHOTOGRAPHS by LESLIE HOSSACK

Tag: SS

Hansel & Gretel illustrated by Arthur Rackham

The House in the Woods, Zehlendorf, Berlin 2010

photograph © Leslie Hossack

The house in the woods in this photograph is one of hundreds built by Hitler’s National Socialist regime for SS officers and their families. These houses are located in an idyllic forest along the shores of Krumme Lanke, on the west side of Berlin in Zehlendorf. Detached, semi-detached and terraced houses were allocated to SS officers according to rank.

The photograph above shows a typical example of Nazi residential architecture: tiny houses with steep tile roofs and shuttered windows scattered about in a natural setting. To see more details, please click on the picture.

File:Hansel-and-gretel-rackham.jpg

illustration by Arthur Rackham

The woods in the image at the top of the page makes me think of the German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. British artist Arthur Rackham became famous for his illustrations in the 1900 edition. Created to accompany Hansel and Gretel, the reproduction above is a well-known example of Rackham’s work.

Nazi SS settlement now idyllic Berlin suburb

House at Number 31, Zehlendorf, Berlin 2101

© Leslie Hossack

Over 70 years ago the Zehlendorf settlement was built by Hitler’s National Socialist regime for SS officers and their families. This exclusive neighbourhood was constructed in an idyllic forest along the shores of Krumme Lanke, on the west side of Berlin. Today, things still look much the same there as they did in 1945 when the Nazi government surrendered at the end of WW II.

The setting reminds me of the German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. In the story, two children are threatened by an evil witch who lives in a charming cottage deep in the dark woods.

The photograph above shows a typical example of Nazi residential architecture. The tiny houses with steep tile roofs and shuttered windows are scattered about in a natural setting. These detached, semi-detached and terraced houses were allocated to SS officers according to rank.

In his book titled Architecture in Berlin 1933 – 1945, A Guide Through Nazi Berlin, Matthias Donath writes: Most of the residential buildings and settlements … were given a more traditional form. The buildings had steep tile roofs; the windows could be closed with shutters. The appearance of half-timbered construction gave the houses a local flare. A typical example of this is the Zehlendorf SS settlement built in 1938 – 1940 in Berlin that now bears the name Waldsiedlung Krumme Lanke.

Hansel & Gretel in the Zehlendorf SS settlement

Two Houses, Zehlendorf, Berlin 2010

© Leslie Hossack

These houses were built by Hitler’s National Socialist regime for SS officers and their families. They are located in an idyllic forest along the shores of Krumme Lanke, on the west side of Berlin in Zehlendorf.

This setting makes me think of the German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. In the story, the two children are threatened by an evil witch who lives in a charming house deep in the dark woods.

The photograph above shows a typical example of Nazi residential architecture. The tiny houses with steep tile roofs and shuttered windows are scattered about in a natural setting. These detached, semi-detached and terraced houses were allocated to SS officers according to rank.

In his book titled Architecture in Berlin 1933 – 1945, A Guide Through Nazi Berlin, Matthias Donath writes: Most of the residential buildings and settlements … were given a more traditional form. The buildings had steep tile roofs; the windows could be closed with shutters. The appearance of half-timbered construction gave the houses a local flare. A typical example of this is the Zehlendorf SS settlement built in 1938 – 1940 in Berlin that now bears the name Waldsiedlung Krumme Lanke.

Nazi architecture: the Zehlendorf SS settlement

Semi-Detached House, Zehlendorf, Berlin 2010

© Leslie Hossack

The mammoth neo-classical architecture that Albert Speer hoped to realize in the Berlin city centre had little impact on daily construction in the Third Reich. Most of the residential buildings and settlements … were given a more traditional form. The buildings had steep tile roofs; the windows could be closed with shutters. The appearance of half-timbered construction gave the houses a local flare. A typical example of this is the Zehlendorf SS settlement built in 1938 – 1940 in Berlin that now bears the name Waldsiedlung Krumme Lanke.                                                                                             – Matthias Donath, Architecture in Berlin 1933 – 1945, A Guide Through Nazi Berlin

The Nazis built housing for their SS troops on the west side of Berlin in Zehlendorf, on the shores of Krumme Lanke. The SS or Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron or defence corps) was a major paramilitary organization under Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during WW II. After 1945, the SS was banned in Germany, along with the Nazi Party, as a criminal organization. wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel

The photograph above shows a typical example of what Matthias Donath refers to as a traditional residential settlement, consisting of houses with steep tile roofs and shuttered windows. These detached, semi-detached and terraced houses were allocated to SS officers according to rank.

To see examples of what Donath refers to as the mammoth neo-classical architecture that Albert Speer hoped to construct for Hitler’s  new world capital Germania, please see my previous posts of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium and Tempelhof Airport.


Nazi architecture from Karlshorst to Zehlendorf

Front of Terrace House, Zehlendorf, Berlin 2010

 

Back of Terrace House, Zehlendorf, Berlin 2010

© Leslie Hossack

Nazi Germany came to an end with the signing of the unconditional surrender on May 8th 1945. This historic event took place in the Karlshorst district of Berlin, in a building constructed in 1936-1938 by the National Socialist regime. The building initially served as the officers’ mess of the German Armed Forces Pioneer School. (To view photographs of this iconic location, please see the Haute Vitrine posts of November 10th and 11th.)

At the same time that Karlshorst was being built, the Nazis were constructing housing for their SS troops on the other side of Berlin. Zehlendorf is located approximately 30 kilometres west of Karlshorst on the shores of Krumme Lanke.

The SS or Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron or defence corps) was a major paramilitary organization under Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during WW II. After 1945, the SS was banned in Germany, along with the Nazi Party, as a criminal organization. wikipedia.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel

In his book Berlin 1933-1945, Maik Kopleck describes the Zehlendorf settlement: SS “Comradeship” Housing Development, architect Hans Gerlach. In 1937, the SS started to build 600 houses in the idyllic countryside of nearby Grunewald for members of the “racial elite.” Architect Hans Gerlach agreed his plans with the SS “Central Office for Race and Resettlement.” The houses were to be “simple and true, while display decency and dignity.” The detached and semi-detached and terraced houses, still standing today, were allocated according to rank. All houses today are private property.