In the spring of 1945, the forty-one-year-old architect Eckart Muthesius returned home to Berlin-Nicolassee to the house and studio designed some four decades earlier by his father, Hermann Muthesius (Figure 1). He discovered a platoon of Soviet soldiers using the spacious suburban house as a field hospital in the battle for Berlin, then raging some seven miles to the northeast. In an effort to clear more space for the wounded in the home's crowded attic, a Russian lieutenant supervised as a group of soldiers lugged boxes of files and papers into the courtyard formed by the house and studio wing. There they hurled the boxes onto a raging bonfire, which, unbeknownst to the Soviet soldiers, was consuming decades' worth of the architect Hermann Muthesius's construction drawings and sketchbooks, transactions with the Deutscher Werkbund, and correspondence with clients and countless figures from...

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