Germany / Landmark
The barracks in the Finckensteinallee were originally built for the Prussian army and were later used by the Hitler’s bodyguard unit Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler. Between 1945 and 1994, the barracks were used by the US Army. Nowadays, it is occupied by the German Federal Archives.
The barracks in the Finckensteinallee were originally built between 1873 and 1878 for the Hauptkadettenanstalt (Main Cadet Institute) of the Prussian army and could accommodate at least 1.000 cadets. In 1920, the institute was dissolved due to the treaty of Versailles. This led to the buildings being used as a school. After Hitler came to power in 1933, his personal bodyguard unit, the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler, was stationed at the premises.
During the Night of the Long Knives in 1934 members of the Leibstandarte and SD executed several high SA functionaries after the barracks. From 1937 to 1940, the entrance and the main building were re-designed in accordance with the Nazi architecture style. Two statues of the SS guards, which are covered with concrete plates today, were added to the newly constructed gate buildings. Along with some service buildings, a big swimming pool for the Leibstandarte soldiers was added. During the war, when the Leibstandarte division was engaged on the front, its reserve units like the guard battalion plus training and replacement battalion remained in Lichterfelde.
In April 1945, the building burned down. The remaining Leibstandarte units had left the premises, since they were in combat against the advancing Red Army. On 25 April 1945, units of the Soviet 9th Mechanized Corps occupied the Lichterfelde area. In July 1945, the US Army took over the compound and re-named it to ‘Andrews Barracks’, which were used as a residence for the US Army Security Forces in Berlin, the military police of the Berlin Command and other smaller units.
After the departure of the Allied forces in 1994, the area was returned to the German state and is now being used by the German Federal Archives.