What is the history building

Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office

The headquarters of the Foreign Office on Werderschen Markt has an extraordinary history of architecture and use. The current old building was built between 1934 and 1940 as an extension of the Reichsbank. This was preceded by the last free architecture competition until 1945, in which Mies van der Rohe and Walther Gropius, among others, had participated. The design by Heinrich Wolff, which contained both conservative and modern elements, was implemented.

During the Second World War, one of the main tasks of the Reichsbank was to finance the war and, in particular, to procure gold for the purchase of raw materials and armaments. The Reichsbank sold gold from the reserves of the conquered countries and from the property of victims of the National Socialist regime. Her involvement in the crimes in the concentration and extermination camps prompted her president to be sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg trials.

Towards the end of the Second World War, the Reichsbank building was severely damaged; the upper floors were burned out. Nevertheless, the building was used again as the Berlin city office from June 1945 and as the seat of the GDR Ministry of Finance from 1949. In 1959 the Central Committee of the SED moved in, which was from here for over 30 years and decisively determined the politics of the GDR.

In the course of 1990 the building was christened "House of Parliamentarians" because the members of the first freely elected GDR People's Chamber moved into their offices here. When the Palace of the Republic had to be closed due to the high levels of asbestos, the last People's Chamber meetings took place here, during which the MPs also ratified the Unification Treaty, among other things.

Illustrated book and brochure "Das Haus am Werderscher Markt"