The former name of the building was Palais Donner and stands on the grounds of the former Berlin city fortifications. By royal order King Frederick II. of Prussia gave the property to built the palace in 1751, that was first a private house (on plans by Christian Friedrich Feldmanns), then it became the official residence of the Prussian Minister of Finance and it has been changed and updated several times. In 1863 and 1864 the building was based rebuilt on plans by Georg Heinrich Burde and Hermann von der Hude.
During Second World War the palace was damaged by air raids and the fighting around Berlin at the end of the war. The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (Sowjetische Militaradministration in Deutschland, SMAD) repaired the building and then used it for their own purposes. In 1947 the palace was opened to the public as "Haus der Kultur der Sowjetunion" (House of Culture of the Soviet Union). From 1950 to 1990, the palace was the home of the "Haus der Deutsch-Sowjetischen Freundschaft" (German-Soviet Friendship), the association trying to establish a strong friendship between the two nations after the war.
After German reunification, this heritage-listed Palais came into the possession of the State of Berlin and is used for cultural, gastronomic and a museum under the new name at the Palais am Festungsgraben.
This reportage is part of We Will Forget Soon (www.wewillforgetsoon.com), a photographic project on the history of the Soviet Red Army in East Germany on the 20th Anniversary of their withdrawal, of which Architectuul is Media Partner.