This is the fifth report in the series and covers the Bendler Block, Reich Ministry of War.
The Bendler Block, although still used by the military, it has a whole floor dedicated to the "German Resistance Movement" in WW2. We reached it by walking along Tiergarten Strasse and then turning into the Stauffenberg Strasse.
The building was once the Reich Ministry of War and Adolf Hitler visited it in 1933 to lay down his plans of conquest to the General Staff. However, the Bendler Block is best remembered today for Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators during the failed take over attempt of 20th July 1944.
The entrance, the inner court was bigger than I imagined and illustrates just how large the block really is.
Taken from the courtyard towards the main entrance, as you can see it is still used by the modern day Bundeswehr.
The focal point of the courtyard, near to where Stauffenberg was shot. There is often a Bundeswehr guard of honour at this point.
Set in the courtyard, this memorial to the German Resistance Movement members who lost their lives on 20th July 1944 and it remembers others too.
The courtyard towards the rear of the block. Behind the tree on the left is the Bundeswehr canteen ( the view is blocked by the workmans partition, the building is being renovated). It is above the entrance to the canteen that one can see four stone carvings representing military campaigns from 1756 to 1916.
The Seven Years War 1756-1763
Napoleonic Wars 1813-1815
The Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871
The Great War 1914-1918 (although the war damage makes the 1918 look like "1916". If however it is in fact 1916, then that must have been when the relief was carved by the stone masons, before the war had come to a conclusion).
We now enter the building and the stairwell
We are now on the floor with the exibition
Everywhere there are information and images of the people involved. It is however typical German. In the UK for example there would have been original furnature and some dummies dressed in the old uniforms and glass cabinets showing original items etc. I feel an opportunity has been missed to turn it into a museum rather than an exhibition.
Stauffenberg´s office. Under glass are a few documents with his signature.
A detail of the floor, taken in Stauffenberg´s office.
In each room can be found information boards, this one was where Generaloberst Beck shot himself on 20th July 1944. It is also the room where Adolf Hitler stood in 1933 when he told the General Staff of his plans for conquest.
The exact position where Beck was sitting when he pulled the trigger.
Although none of the original furniture remains, the doors and fittings do. Two of these doors are sliding doors, these would make the room sound proof during secret meetings.
This photo was taken in the office of General Olbricht.
This was the scene of the shoot-out, when two opposing groups of officers drew their sidearms.
Showing the details of one of the office doors.
For those people interested in finding out more information about Stauffenberg and the 20th July 1944, there are hundreds of websites covering this topic. But only one covers it from the other side of events and that is the "Major Remer 1944" article on this website: Major Remer 1944