On 7 May 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Reims, France, to take effect the following day, ending the Second World War in Europe. Much has been written about how a nation allowed itself to be taken in by the Nazis' evil ideology, but less attention has been given to an equally fascinating question – how did post-war Germany recover from such a catastrophic episode in its history?

Relics of the Reich
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun at the Führer’s mountain retreat, the Berghof on the Obersalzberg in Bavaria, June 1942Bundesarchiv, unknown

Colin Philpott's book – Relics of the Reich – looks at the physical legacy of the Nazis; their buildings, their structures and their public spaces. In his introduction, the author writes: "The Nazis were inveterate builders. Like many regimes, particularly dictatorships, one way they sought to secure their place in history and immortalise themselves and their ideas was through their architecture. They bequeathed a vast, largely unwanted, physical legacy to post-war Germany.

"Some of their buildings had been designed specifically as instruments of terror. Some were grandiose and built as statements. Some were functional and utilitarian. Hitler took a close personal interest in architecture and, aided by his loyal acolyte, the architect Albert Speer, built many and planned even more. Seventy years after the Führer committed suicide in his Berlin bunker much of the architectural legacy left behind in 1945 remains with us."

In this fascinating book, Philpott examines what happened to these buildings after VE Day and the fall of the Nazis. Some were destroyed by the Allies, others were pressed into service with new uses, while many remained ignored by a nation preoccupied with a harsh, daily grind and embarrassed by the physical detritus of the Third Reich. IBTimes UK presents some of the photos from Relics of the Reich; see the book to find out more about each building.

Relics of the Reich
‘Honouring the Fallen’ on the Luitpoldarena, the original area used for the Nazi Party Rallies in Nuremberg, September 1934Bundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
The Zeppelin Field Grandstand today – one of the most iconic Nazi remains anywhere in GermanyStephen Wagner
Relics of the Reich
Nazi party rally inside the Bürgerbräukeller, Munich, 1923Bundesarchiv, Heinrich Hoffman
Relics of the Reich
Munich’s premier beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus, is still a thriving tourist attraction but was the scene of many Nazi party meetings in the 1920sAndrew Bossi
Relics of the Reich
Hitler digging foundations of one of the first sections of autobahn built after the Nazis came to power near Frankfurt, 1933Bundesarchiv, Unknown
Relics of the Reich
View of the first motorway service area, Rasthaus Chiemsee, from the air, 1937Archiv Eckhard Gruber
Relics of the Reich
Competitors from a number of nations made Nazi salutes on the podium at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsBundesarchiv, Stempka
Relics of the Reich
Interior of the Berlin Olympic Stadium after its refurbishment for the 2006 football World CupColin Philpott
Relics of the Reich
Hitler watching the events at the Winter Olympics, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, February 1936Bundesarchiv, Willy Rehor
Relics of the Reich
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is still a thriving winter sports resort today and many of the facilities built in 1936 are still in useMartin Fisch
Relics of the Reich
Braunes Haus, 1935 – one of a number of buildings which formed the administrative centre of the Nazi Party in MunichBundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Hitler with supporters inside the Braunes Haus, Munich in the 1920s – Munich was seen as ‘Capital of the Movement’Bundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
The new Nazi Documentation Centre opened in April 2015 in Munich on the site of the former Braunes Haus, once the Nazi Party HQMunich Tourism Office
Relics of the Reich
Haus Wachenfeld, later to be renamed the Berghof, with Nazi flag 1934Erich Wilhelm Krüger
Relics of the Reich
Hitler with Hermann Göring, Martin Bormann and Baldur von Shirach at the Berghof, Obersalzberg, 1936Bundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Model of ‘Welthauptstadt Germania’ – the planned redevelopment of Berlin by the Nazis as Capital of the Greater ReichBundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Construction of the Nuremberg Congress Hall on the Rally Grounds site during 1939Nürnberg Stadtarchiv
Relics of the Reich
The Nuremberg Congress Hall today – it is the largest remaining Nazi-era building in GermanyStefan Wagner
Relics of the Reich
Hitler opening the VW factory at Stadt des KdF-Wagens, (City of the Strength through Joy Cars) 1938undesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
VW factory, Wolfsburg – VW is now one of the largest car manufacturers in the worldAndreas Praefcke
Relics of the Reich
Planes on the tarmac at Berlin Tempelhof, 1948 around the time of the Berlin AirliftUS Air Force
Relics of the Reich
Interior of main hall at Berlin Tempelhof – visitors can tour the building and see this remnant of Nazi architectureAlan Ford
Relics of the Reich
The Wolf’s Lair after the assassination attempt on Hitler carried out by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg on 20 July 1944Bundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Remains of the Wolf’s Lair near Ketrzyn in Poland which can now be toured by visitorsAlbert Jankowski
Relics of the Reich
Schindler’s factory at Brnenec in the Czech Republic – he relocated his factory there and continued to protect Jews from deportation to extermination campsMiaow Miaow
Relics of the Reich
Dereliction at Schindler’s factory at Brnenec – campaigns are underway to preserve the historic siteTimes of Israel, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Headquarters of the Gestapo, Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, Berlin, 1933 – the Nazi terror machine was masterminded hereBundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Walking route at the ‘Topography of Terror’ which includes views of the basement of the former Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin where torture took place during the Third Reich eraTopography of Terror Centre
Relics of the Reich
Hitler at NS-Ordensburg Vogelsang in North-Rhine Westphalia – one of three elite academies established by the NazisBundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
The imposing structure of NS-Ordensburg Vogelsang still dominates the skyline near Schleiden in North-Rhine WestphaliaVoWo
Relics of the Reich
Barracks at Dachau Concentration Camp shortly after its liberation in April 1945Sidney Blau, US Army
Relics of the Reich
The preserved crematorium building at Dachau – part of the memorial established on the former concentration camp siteColin Philpott
Relics of the Reich
Allied bomb damage at the Reichstag towards the end of the war in early 1945Sergeant Hewitt, British Army Film and Photography Unit
Relics of the Reich
The Reichstag, restored as the seat of the German Parliament after reunification in 1990, is now a major tourist destinationColin Philpott
Relics of the Reich
Garden of the Reich Chancellery under which lay the bunker complex where the last days of the Third Reich were played outBundesarchiv, unknown
Relics of the Reich
Inside the flooded Führerbunker – for many years the site of Hitler’s final days was effectively buried beneath the Berlin WallBundesarchiv, Hubert Link
Relics of the Reich
Site of the Führerbunker in Berlin – now a car park next to an apartment blockAFP

Relics of the Reich, The Buildings the Nazis Left Behind by Colin Philpott is published by Pen and Sword Books.