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The Reichstag | World War Supply
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The Reichstag

The Reichstag

History

BERLIN, GERMANY -The Reichstag building is a structure in Berlin, Germany that housed the Reichstag, also known as the Imperial Diet. It was created after the Franco-Prussian War to house the increase of members and was formally dedicated on December 5, 1894.

The Reichstag building was used from 1894 to 1933 during both the German Empire and the following short-lived Weimer Republic. On February 27, 1933, four weeks after Hitler rose to power, a fire broke out during the night and engulfed the parliament building.

The Reichstag Fire gave Hitler the chance to seize power from the faltering Weimer Republic and transfer power to the Nazi Party. Hitler claimed the arson attack was an attempt by Communists to overthrow the government though the official cause has never been truly verified. The subsequent Reichstag Fire Decree that was passed on February 28, 1933 restricted civil liberties and is considered the first step to the police state of Nazi Germany.

On March 23, 1933, the Reichstag ceded power completely to the Nazi Party. They ceased to function during the time of the authoritarian state. As a result, the Reichstag building fell into disuse during the war period. It was heavily bombed and shelled by Allied attacks at the close of the war and eventually fell under British control in divided Berlin.

Restorations on the structure began in 1961 and ended 1964. After 1971, it was used as a museum of German history. Additional restorations began after the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990 which included the rebuilding of its glass dome. On October 4, 1990, the newly reunified Bundestag (the lower parliament formerly known as the Reichstag) convened in the Reichstag building and voted for it to become the Bundestag’s permanent home. It formally began convening at the Reichstag building on September 7, 1999 and continues its sessions there to this day.

The Reichstag building is a famous tourist attraction in Berlin. At the time of its creation, its central heating, running-water toilets, telephones, and electric power station were extremely innovative. The inscription on the building’s main entrance, “DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE” (“To the German People”), was crafted using the metal from French cannons from the Napoleonic Wars nearly a century before. The inscription was delayed for unknown reasons and finally placed on the Christmas of 1916. The Reichstag building also came to fame in June 1995, when environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the entire building with 90,000 square meters of silver fabric.

Post By: Haralambos Missler

See the Berlin Gallery