Former East German parliament steel headed to Dubai

At one time the Palace of the Republic in Berlin was the most prestigious building in communist East Germany, and now steel from the dismantled building will be used for the world's highest skyscraper and in VW car engines, German daily Bild reported on Tuesday.

Former East German parliament steel headed to Dubai
Dismantling the Palace with the famous TV Tower in the background. Photo: DPA

The Palast der Republik – also affectionately known as “Erich’s Lamp Shop” in reference to the foyer’s many lamps and late communist leader Erich Honecker – is scheduled to be completely disassembled by September.

About 50 workers have spent the last three years removing 25,000 tonnes of steel, 500 tonnes of glass and 50,000 tonnes of concrete, Bild reported.

And while Berlin might be losing a piece of its East German history, the heavily indebted city will gain €10.7 million for the sale of the building’s steel.

“We have agreed to a contract to sell the material,” Berlin senate building department spokesperson Marko Rosteck told the paper.

The steel will be sent to Rosslau in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt where workers will melt it down for shipment to the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. Workers there will then incorporate the steel into the 1,200-metre, 228-story skyscraper, the “Burj Dubai.”

Head of the steel smelter Schrott Wetzel in Rosslau, Wolfang Lindau, told the paper the company has also been shipping the steel to buyers in Turkey for use in Volkswagen engines.

But the Dubai partnership is much larger. “They can have everything from us,” Lindau told the paper. “So far we’ve gotten two barges with 1,600 tonnes from Berlin. We await the rest in November.”