You’ve walked around the corner with the Peking Ente on your left and after a few metres you’ll come to where I believe the entrance to the Ehrenhof was (give or take a metre or two):
Back in the day, inside would have looked like this:
The two statues flanking the doorway are by Arno Breker who was heavily into this heroic stuff. The one on the left was called “Die Partei” and the one on the right “Die Wehrmacht” (by Hitler, Breker had other names for them). There’s a copy of “Die Wehrmacht” in the (highly recommended) Zeughaus museum on Unter den Linden. If you want a laugh or just like the sound of grinding teeth, go up to one of the museum attendants, point at the statue and say “Oh wow! That’s great! Is it the original?”. They love it!
So you’re in the Ehrenhof. Turn around in 1936 or so and you would have seen this:
Remembering that – were those doors open – you could see our old friend the Ritterschaftsdirektion. Don’t believe me?
OK, this is the quick tour. There are zillions of photos on the Internet of the NRK – try Pinterest, for example. We are going to give the Vorhalle (reception area) the flick and mosey on straight into the Mosaiksaal, or Mosaic Hall in English. This would’ve been some sight: 46 metres long by 20 wide by 16 high(!) and the whole thing done in marble and mosaic.
There were nine of those mosaic panels with each holding a fine mosaic of two eagles.I have read that one of these panels has survived and is in the Zeughaus on Unter den Linden but I have yet to see it.
These things were eight and a half metres tall and two and a half wide but I can only find one photo of someone actually standing beside one – it’s Ullstein 00042099, as seen in Ronald Pawly’s book. To give you some idea of how big these buggers were I’ve invited the Beatles to stand in for the Nazis even though they only got lousy MBEs instead of a Blood Order:
This also gives some idea:
The Mosaic Hall was the setting for the major Nazi funerals, specifically those of Reinhard Heydrich, Hans-Valentin Hube and Fritz Todt among others. Here’s Heydrich’s funeral:
Source on photo.
…and here’s Hans-Valentin Hube’s (Hube was a general who had been awarded the Knight’s Cross with Swords and Diamonds – the highest award you could get in the Third Reich if you don’t count Goring’s stupid decorations – on Hitler’s birthday, 1944, and was killed in a plane crash the next day in Salzburg).
Source on photo
Both Heydrich and Hube – and Fritz Todt for that matter – were buried in the Invaliden Friedhof which will will get to eventually:
So this is where you have arrived, having entered from Wilhelmstrasse:
From the Mosaic Hall you enter the Runder Saal (that’s the round room at which the arrow is pointing): it was circular to reorient the visitor’s direction from the bizarre bend in Voss-Strasse caused by the Borsig Palace. Here it is in its heyday:
and in 1945:
And so on into the Marble Gallery …