Architecture

Question:

I'm an architecture student in Portugal and I'm doing a research about minimum spaces. I would like you to send me detailed information (including images) about the living conditions of the prisioners such as the dimensions of the barracks and the sleeping places. If you have information about the psicological consequences of those living conditions that would be of much interest to me.

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

I suggest that you review the following book:

Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present
Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt
c. 1996, W. W. Norton & Co. (New York)
ISBN 0-393-03933-1

Professor van Pelt is: "...an historian of architecture and urban form, (who) introduced Auschwitz as a site designed by architects and constructed by engineers in his critically aclaimed Architectural Principles in the Age of Historicism ..." van Pelt is Professor of Cultural History in the Architecture School at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Question:

I am looking for any information regarding the effects of Nazis policies on the architecture of the time. I am familiar with Speer's work, and the grand plan for Berlin, but I would like to study in depth more of the influences of Nazi doctrines upon the styles built. How did the architecture work along with the propaganda to strike fear and obedience into German peoples? What were the desired effects of the spaces created by Nazi architects? I want to research the connections between the Greco-Roman styles so revered by Hitler, and his very anti-Democratic dictatorship. I am also interested in the deliberate eradication of the Bauhaus movement, considering its strong German origin and Hitler's obsessions with all things created by Germans. I am a college sophomore doing an honors paper for a Holocaust class, and I would appreciate leads you could give me on books, videos, or other media (particularly architectural representation) or contacts that I could use. Thank you so much for your time--you have a very informative site for students that need to be aware of the Shoah.

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you for sending us your question.

I am one of the persons in the Holocaust History Project who responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive more than one answer from us.

The seminal book on Nazi architecture is:

Architects of Fortune
Elaine S. Hochman
c. 1989, Weidenfeld

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century and head of the Bauhaus in Nazi Germany. Until his death it was he, not Speers, who was Hitler's architect. I believe that you will find answers to most of your questions in the book named above.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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