Paul Troost

Paul Troost

Paul Ludwig Troost (August 17, 1878 – 21 March 1934), born in Elberfeld, was a German architect. An extremely tall, spare-looking, reserved Westphalian with a close-shaven head, Troost belonged to a school of architects, Peter Behrens and Walter Gropius who, even before 1914, reacted sharply against the highly ornamental "Jugendstil" and advocated a restrained, lean architectural approach, almost devoid of ornament. Troost graduated from designing steamship décor before World War I, and the fittings for showy transatlantic liners like the Europa, to a style that combined Spartan traditionalism with elements of modernity.


Although, before 1933 he did not belong to the leading group of German architects, he became Hitler's foremost architect whose neo-classical style became for a time the official architecture of the Third Reich. His work filled Hitler with enthusiasm, and he planned and built state and municipal edifices throughout Germany.

In the autumn of 1933, he was commissioned to rebuild and refurnish the Chancellery residence in Berlin. [Seligmann, Matthew; Davison, John; and McDonald, John (2003). "Daily Life in Hitler's Germany", p. 96. London: The Brown Reference Group plc. ISBN 0-312-32811-7.] Along with other architects, Troost planned and built State and municipal edifices throughout the country, including new administrative offices, social buildings for workers and bridges across the main highways. One of the many structures he planned before his death was the House of German Art in Munich, [Zalampas, Sherree Owens (1990). "Adolf Hitler: A Psychological Interpretation of His Views on Architecture, Art and Music", p. 76. Bowling Green State University Popular Press. ISBN 087972-488-9.] intended to be a great temple for a "true, eternal art of the German people". It was a good example of the imitation of classical forms in monumental public buildings during the Third Reich, though subsequently Hitler moved away from the more restrained style of Troost, reverting to the pompous imperial grandeur that he had admired in the Vienna Ringstrasse of his youth.

Hitler's relationship to Troost was that of a pupil to an admired teacher. According to Albert Speer, who later became Hitler's favourite architect, the Führer would impatiently greet Troost with the words: "I can't wait, Herr Professor. Is there anything new? Let's see it!" Troost would then lay out his latest plans and sketches. Hitler frequently declared, according to Speer, that "he first learned what architecture was from Troost"'. The architect's death on 21 March 1934, after a severe illness, was a painful blow, but Hitler remained close to his widow Gerdy Troost, whose architectural taste frequently coincided with his own, which made her (in Speer's words) "a kind of arbiter of art in Munich." He was buried in the "Nordfriedhof" Cemetery (North Cemetery) in Munich. The grave stone still survives although the family name has been removed.

Hitler posthumously awarded Troost the German National Prize for Art and Science in 1936.

Albert Speer on Troost

Albert Speer stated the following:

:"At the correct time fate let Hitler meet Troost, with whom a light friendship soon connected . What Dietrich Eckart was to the Führer for the exchange of ideas of world politics, Professor Troost soon became for architecture.

:"The first building which arose through the unique alliance of these two men was the original small edifice of the movement, the Brown House in Brienner Street in Munich. Though it was only a reconstruction it was a tremendous effort as the Führer sometimes has said.

:"The drawings for this reconstruction came to life in the simple studio of Architect Troost, in the small rear house at Theresien Street in Munich. In this same studio plans were made for a new building code, the plans for the Königsplatz in Munich, the House of German Art and many other buildings of the Führer. The plans for these important buildings were never viewed by the Führer in his official offices. For years he drove to the studio of Troost in his spare time in order to view the plans of new buildings. But the Führer did not occupy himself only with the overall plans; each single detail, each new material received his seal of approval and much was improved through his fruitful suggestions. Those hours of joint planning, as the Führer often confesses, became hours of purest joy and the deepest feelings of happiness for him. They were relaxation of the purest kind, out of which he found new strength for other planning. Here he had the opportunity, during the few free hours which politics allows him, to dedicate himself towards the building art.

:"During the winters of 1931 and 1932 he consulted Troost about the future form of the Königsplatz in Munich, and many beautiful designs were the results of these get-togethers. Before his coming to power the place was, as a result of those many deliberations over plans and models, already finished in its present form.

:"The Führer found in the irreplaceable artist Paul Ludwig Troost, his architect. Troost understood how to utilize Hitler's intentions and how to provide the correct architectural form. The Führer during his great speech at the cultural meeting of the Reich Party in 1935, delivered a memorial to Professor Troost which could not have been a more beautiful tribute to an architect of our times, Hitler said: We should be filled with happy pride that through a strange fate Germany possessed the greatest architect since Schinkel, in the new Reich and for the movement. He erected his first and unfortunately his only tremendous works in stone as monuments of true Germanic and Teutonic purity."Fact|date=March 2008

ee also

* Nazi architecture


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