Wilhelm Grebe

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Wilhelm Grebe was one of Adolf Hitler's architects. Grebe noted that there were at least seventy different types of indigenous architecture in Nazi Germany and that in the future it would be impossible to preserve all of them; standardization throughout Germany might be necessary in the future. Furthermore, he warned, it might prove impossible to use local materials in every case:

"We shall have to move ahead towards a healthy standardization."

Here was a suggestion for mass production of material for indigenous peasant architecture, which surely ran counter to everything volkisch writers sought.

Wilhelm Grebe was Editor of "Handbuch für das Bauen auf dem Lande", Berlin 1943. It shows the opinion how the architecture should have to be developed to create better agricultural technique in Germany including Austria and the occupied countries after 1939. Grebe's colleague, the Architect Werner Cords (1886-1954) was one of the most important architects who designed modern buildings, constructed in steel and concrete. He was born in Parchim/Mecklenburg and died in Dresden/Saxonia. The design is comparative to the German Heimatschutz-Stil. There was the opinion to integrate new buildings in a natural located typical design. Cords realized the plan of the manor-yard in Rodenwalde in 1935, County of Ludwigslsut-Parchim. The land-owner was Dr. Ing. h. c. Hans Merensky (1871-1952). He was ingeneer for deep-mining and was running a diamant-mine in South Africa. Grebe and Cords had some more plans which should be realized in 'after-war-time'. So the manor-yards in the "Neue Deutsche Ostgebiete" had to be constructed in the system of standardization. Grebe was starting a competition of architects in Berlin 1941 where Cords was a member. There have been some more ideas involved, from Sweden to design standarizated economic buildings. There have been some more plans for the area of former Poland, called "Generalgouvernement" and of Ukraine, called "Ostland" in 1943. Typically the manor-house ("Gutshaus") still should be the architectonic center of the yard. It was not called "Gutshaus" any more. It had to be titled "Gefolgschaftshaus". There was planned to instruct the workers and leading members of the manor-area in working and 'correct' political education. There were constructed some economic buildings, storages and garages for the machines. Typically some of these buildings were constructed in reception of the style of East-Prussian farm-houses from the Middle-Age. This means that the "Gefolgschaftshaus" had an attached front-porch. The architecture has to be understood in a psychological way: The reception of the East-Prussian Style has to continue the "Landnahme" (land-taking) as a "second German Colonization" of Eastern Europe after 1941. But as we know things happened in another way and Grebe' and Cords' plannings were only phantastic. But Cords was responsible for the "Lehrstuhl für ländliches Bauen" at the TU Dresden until 1953. His inventions were important for the agricultural buildings in the German Democratic Republic after 1949. The standardized construction of buildings at the "Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaften" (LPGen) und "Volkseigene Güter" (VEGer) was running until 1970. Well we have to admit that Grebe was as important for the architecture of manors as Albert Speer and Hermann Giesler in the cities of Berlin, respective Munich. Felix Luedemann, phd

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