The essays deals with the public role of historic buildings in the reconstruction of Berlin in the 1950s and 1960s when new, ambitious building projects significantly changed the cityscape. Already in the early phase of the cold war, and even more so after, during the postmodernist period, the official line towards Berlin’s historical architecture, was quite favourable and played an important role in the conflict among the opposing political systems. For the public, the significance of each historic building, whether it was demolished or preserved, was underlined by the Berlin media, and also in the memories of witnesses, in guide and photo books. The essay describes some moments of the debate by analyzing some significant events; the case of Unter der Linden Opera, the destruction of the Imperial Castle, the scandal concerning the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church and a photo book on «murdered» Berlin all give an impression of the importance of old Berlin during the period of the new beginning after the Second World War.
Keywords: Berlin, Historic buildings, Reconstruction Cityscape