The Amber Room , a room with wall coverings and furniture made of amber elements , commissioned by the first King of Prussia, Friedrich I, by Andreas Schlüter , was originally installed in the Berlin City Palace . In 1716 it was given away by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I to the Russian tsar Peter the Great . But only in 1743 was the Amber Room under the reign of Tsarina Elisabeth permanently built in the Winter Palace. The same Regent left in 1755 a room for the amber panels in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo set up near St. Petersburg , where the Amber Room then remained almost two centuries. [1] After the wall paneling and the interior in 1941 as war booty stolen by the German occupiers, and from 1942 in Königsberg Castle were issued, they are lost for the likewise wartime evacuation of the castle of the 1945th

The Katharinenpalast is since 2003 a faithful replica of the Amber Room.

The Amber Room was originally intended for the Charlottenburg Palace . It was designed by the architect and sculptor Andreas Schlüter . It was a complete wall paneling made of amber , which was later also referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world”. The Danish Bernstein draftsman Gottfried Wolffram was due to a recommendation of Frederick IV of Denmark probably since 1701 in the service of Frederick I in Königsberg . In 1706 the execution became the DanzigerBernstein master Ernst Schacht and Gottfried Turau transferred, since Wolfframs prices were considered too high. The work is still mentioned in 1712, but it was not built until after the death of Frederick I in part in a cabinet at the White Hall of the Berlin City Palace .

The Russian Tsar Peter the Great admired the room during his visit to the Prussian residence of the “soldier king”, who, in contrast to his predecessor, had little interest in such construction art, but sought ” Lange Kerls ” for his bodyguard. So it came with Tsar Peter for the exchange of gifts to seal an alliance against Sweden, and the room was exchanged for soldiers with Gardemaß. The valuable gift to the Russian monarch caused already at that time headlines in German magazines, so z. In the Journal Remarquable Curiosa . [2] The following on Peter I. regent ( Catherine I , Peter II. , Anna and the child EmperorIvan VI. ) did not take the amber room. The daughter Peter I and Katharina I, Tsarina Elisabeth, had the room remodeled with the considerable participation of the Italian restorer and stucco master Alexander Martelli , who was working at the Zarenhof, and installed in Saint Petersburg first in the Winter Palace , later in the Catherine’s Palace in Tsarskoe Selo . [1] The standing in the service of the Russian courtyard Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli brought the room by inserting Spiegelpilastern and gilded carvings to its final size.

In September 1941 the Katharinenpalast was seized by the Wehrmacht as living accommodation. The Soviet administration had been unable to transport the wall panels, they were secured by cardboard makeshift against splinters. From October 14, 1941, the amber room was dismantled on behalf of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg under the supervision of Captain Ernstotto to Solms – Laubach and Captain Georg Poensgen within 36 hours, packed in 28 boxes and transported to Königsberg, where the Prussia collection was. On November 13, 1941, the Königsberger Allgemeine Zeitung reported in detail on an exhibition of parts of the Amber Room in theKönigsberg Castle . Also appeared in an article in the journal Pantheon , whose photo material revealed that a Florentine mosaic was missing. After a fire in an exhibition room of Königsberg Castle in 1944, the wall cladding was dismantled and probably stored in boxes in the basement of the royal palace. Two British air raids on Königsberg at the end of August 1944 probably damaged only the six base panels.

Since 1945, the Amber Room has been lost. About his whereabouts there is a barely manageable abundance of claims, assumptions and speculations. Only several hundred places are named in the literature, where it should be hidden. Numerous domestic and foreign researchers have been looking in vain for the Amber Room. It is clear, only that the Amber Room was last time seen in Konigsberg. Indeed it is unclear when. [3] According to the findings of the two British researchers Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark the amber room to be burnt there in 1945, namely after [4] had the Soviet Army captured the city and the castle (that is not already in theBombing of the city by the English on August 30, 1944 ). That goes out from hitherto unheeded archival documents from the estate of the Soviet Amber Room Commissioner Anatoly Kuchumov [5] , but is doubted by experts or is valid according to the current state of knowledge as refuted.

The castle of Königsberg, in which the Amber Room was located, was severely damaged in 1945 and demolished in 1968 on the orders of Leonid Brezhnev to build the House of the Soviets there. Due to structural problems, this skyscraper was not completed; So far, you could decide neither to a completion nor to a demolition.

The castle substructure with the vaulted cellars, in which the amber room was demonstrably stored, should still exist in part. According to plans received, the huge building complex had low-lying basement rooms that have not yet been uncovered. The whereabouts of the Amber Room in Königsberg is therefore quite conceivable. On the other hand, it is speculated that Russian authorities want to hide clues that the Soviet power could not prevent the loss of the Amber Room.

The Königsberg Castle was, it is suspected of Russian seekers, connected to the cathedral through an underground passage. In his niches valuable items could be stored. It is also believed that the entrances were blown up towards the end of the Second World War. In search of the Amber Room, the Russian Civil Protection therefore wanted to dig for the first time in the new Pregel in 2009 ( Königsberger Express , March 2009). Nothing has been found so far.

In connection with the spectacular Schwabing Kunstfund , a cousin of the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt claimed in November 2013 that the son knew where the amber room was. [6]

A newer track leads to Castle Friedland in Bohemia. In February 1945, numerous boxes are said to have been put there and walled in the basement of the castle. [7]

Since 2012, a new track leads into the mountainous city of Wuppertal . Karl-Heinz Little theory says that the former Gauleiter in East Prussia Erich Koch , in the last months of the war, the amber room delivered by train to his hometown. Meanwhile, Wilfried Fischer has taken over the management of the treasure hunt in Wuppertal, as Karl-Heinz Klein moved back to Leipzig. [8th]

In the time of the Second World War it came under unclear circumstances to thefts of individual pieces of equipment of the Amber Room. This is suggested by the fact that a dresser and a stone mosaic, which was allegedly stolen in 1941 before arriving in Königsberg, were found in Germany at the end of the 1990s. The mosaic appeared in Northern Germany in 1996 and was offered on the “gray art market” for 2.5 million US dollars. However, before it came to a sale, the object was confiscated by the police in Bremen . [9] Some time after this spectacular discovery came forward due to press reports, the owner of the bureau in Berlin. [10] These probably last two still preserved original parts of the amber room were returned by the federal government to Russia.

In the Katharinenpalast was worked from 1976 on the reconstruction of the Amber Room, which was based mainly on black and white photos of the original and on the only existing color photograph. After a break due to financing problems, the work could be completed by a donation of the German Ruhrgas AG of 3.5 million dollars. As part of the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg , the reconstructed Amber Room on May 31, 2003, was ceremoniously presented by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Russian President Vladimir Putinhanded over to the public. Today the amber room can be visited in the Katharinenpalast.

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