The grandiose Palais Strousberg at 70 Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin was built for the notorious railway entrepreneur Bethel Henry Strousberg. In 1876, the British acquired it as their Embassy. This book tells the story of this long-vanished, magnificent and atmospheric palace at the heart of Berlin’s government district. Located on the very doorstep of the dramatic and far-reaching political events of the next seven decades, the building bore witness to Germany’s painful journey through monarchy, civil war, republic, fascist dictatorship and two World Wars.
Drawing extensively on many original and previously unpublished sources, this is the story of the many famous personalities that visited, lived or worked in the Embassy from the 1870s until the Second World War.
Centre stage is the building’s diplomatic representational role, from the 1878 Congress of Berlin to the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and the events that led up to the outbreak of the Second World War. It is a story of great contrasts and famous celebrities, from Imperial balls and the drama of the start of Great War, to the Embassy staff’s increasingly strained dealings with the higher echelons of the Third Reich.