Restoration and establishment of a museum for German history

1945 to 1990

In 1944/45 the Zeughaus was severely damaged by bombs and grenades and subsequent conflagration. The reconstruction began in 1948 and took until 1967. The building was supposed to be restored in its original form, yet without taking up any of the new construction work that had been carried out in the 19th century. However, due to the poor condition of the stone material, the core of the Zeughaus had to be completely stripped down and a steel skeleton construction installed.

At first the building was to serve as a "House of Culture". Werner Hartung (1904-1987) was commissioned with the restoration in 1948. A theatre, a cinema, a chamber music hall as well as exhibition rooms were part of the planning. In 1950 these plans were changed. Now the aim was to build a "cultural-historical museum". The collective of Otto Haesler (1880-1962) and Karl Völker (1889-1962) was entrusted with building a "Museum for German History". After a dispute about he design of the interior, Theodor Voissem was finally appointed chief architect in 1951.

In August 1990 the Council of Ministers of the last GDR government resolved the dissolution of the "Museum für Deutsche Geschichte", which had been located in the Zeughaus since 1952.

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