Roderick Fick: Hitler’s genial and controversial Architect


When analyzing ancient history, we often overlook some of the people who play unpopular but vital roles. One of such instances is people, who engage in the crucial construction of places now known as ancient sites.

When we talked about World War II, emphasis is placed on Adolf Hitler, his key officers, and the Allied Power. But we do forget those people who worked with these known war personnel and their efforts to keep Hitler as a front figure.

Analyzing the Munich architects, who worked closely with the Nazis during one of the dark years of German history, we meet many behind the scenes, who played a key role. This was a man became prominent during the Nazi era in Germany and constructed key structures for the Nazi movement.

His early years

Roderick Fick was a Munich architect born on November 16, 1886, in cold Würzburg, Germany. He died on July 13, 1955, and throughout his 68 years alive, he became a renowned architect prominently classified under Nazi architecture.

He pursued his passion in design and architecture by studying architecture both in Munich and Zurich, classifying him as a Munich and Dresden architecture.

After many years of the sojourn and adventure around the world, especially in Africa, Roderick Fick returned to Germany to become a Professor at the Munich Technical University in 1935. So, he was first an academician before becoming a fully-fledged architecture.

Roderick’s journeys around the world were evident in his designs as an architect with experience and exposure to various cultures and climes, becoming one of the very best.

Family Ties

In terms of Roderick’s relationships and family, not much information is available. This is no surprise as he as many others worked closely with the controversial German leader, Adolf Hitler. Therefore, some parts of his life are bound to be private and undisclosed. However, we know that Roderick Fick throughout his life officially had two wives and a daughter.

When he was 51 years old, Roderick Fick lost Marie, his first wife. This was on the 2nd of October 1938, shortly after he began working with the Nazi regime in Germany. For about the next decade he devoted himself to his work.

In 1948, he remarried one of his former students, Catharina Büscher. She was a brilliant young woman in her thirties and was 28 years younger than Roderick. Two years after the marriage, the couple greeted a lovely daughter and named her Friederike.

There is no record of Roderick marrying another wife before his demise in 1955. Therefore, as at his death, he left behind a wife and a five years old daughter.

His Works

Most of his well-recognized works are those he did as a member of the Nazi, which got him the nickname “Hitler’s Architect.”

However, it was his exploits as an architect before becoming a Nazi that caught the attention of Hitler, who was impressed with him and decided to employ him.

So, we will assess some of his works prior to and during his Nazi days.

Pre-Nazi Works

Before joining the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) NSDAP, also known as the Nazi party in 1937. Roderick Fick built the “Haus der deutschen Ärzte” in Munich in the year 1936. This building in English means the House of the German Medical Association. This was a big project that helped bring attention to Roderick Fick’s work in Germany.

Following that, Roderick’s next project was significant in kickstarting his Nazi journey. He constructed a building close to the Braun Haus, which was once located in Munich. The Braun Haus in English means the Brown House, and it was the headquarters of the Nazi party during the period of their rule. Prominent individuals like Adolf Hitler maintained offices in the Braunen Haus throughout the Nazi reign until it was destroyed.

Roderick’s building close to the Nazi headquarters caught the attention of Adolf Hitler and this led to his affiliation with the Nazi party and the subsequent projects he did for the party.

Works Under Nazi Regime

After he got the attention of Hitler, from 1937, he began to build projects for the Nazi party, and he got more commissioned works in Munich as a result of his affiliation with the Nazis. He designed the building for Rudolf Hess’s Munich house in 1937. Rudolf Hess was a top-ranked Nazi leader at the time; in that manner, it was a very ambitious project for him.

He was furthermore in other projects like Hitler’s Obersalzberg complex. THis was a very strategic location situated in the mountainside that housed Adolf Hitler’s leisure residence, Berghof, and the residence of other top officers.

He was moreover an integral part of the team to design various SD barracks and SS barracks for the Nazis across the country.

He was equally responsible for constructing the residence of Hitler’s private secretary, Martin Bormann at Berchtesgaden. Martin Bormann was a Nazi Party Official and the Head of the Nazi Party Chancellery. He handled information to Adolf Hitler. Only a trusted person could be allowed to construct his villa, and Fick was that man.

After the Nazis took over the government, they had plans to expand and Roderick Fick was critical to such expansion in terms of construction. He was Hitler’s trusted architect, such that in 1939 he was appointed State Councilor for the Redesign of Linz.

Linz was Hitler’s project of expansion which involved the construction of various buildings. Among Hitler’s grand plans to redesign Linz, Roderick Fick constructed the only ones which got completed. He also constructed the buildings along the Nibelungen bridge.

Hitler’s Teehaus

Roderick Fick did some personal works for Adolf Hitler which were of great significance. He constructed Hitler’s favorite Teehaus on the Mooslahnerkopf hill. This was where Adolf Hitler loved to stay in the afternoon and when he was at his Berghof residence.

This project was commissioned to Roderick by Martin Bormann. The Teehaus turned out to be one of Roderick’s most magnificent works and a technically challenging one. It was constructed directly on the hillside, a large granite square with three broad windows, and a limited panoramic view. There was a circular table in the middle of an upholstered armchair. The entrance to this highly secured treehouse was on the hillside.

Controversies and Investigations

Roderick Fick proved to be an excellently skilled architect. However, his work caused controversy due to his affiliation with the Nazis. This led to the investigation of his activities during that era after the defeat of the Nazis.

He was declared to have been passively complicit in Nazi crimes and was subsequently penalized. But after reinvestigation some years later, his fine was reduced, and he could resume work as an architect in the country.

Whatever the controversy, one cannot doubt the expertise in Roderick Fick’s work, regardless of if the construction was before his Nazi affiliations or not.

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