In 1941-42, under the direction of Albert Speer, this 12,650 tonne block of concrete was constructed in order to test the stability of Berlin's soil. Hitler had planned to re-model Berlin into 'Germania', and the plans included a triumphal arch, three times the size of the Arche de Triumphe!
The 11 meter foundation was inserted 18.2 meters into the ground.
The subsidence of the object was measured carefully but measurement ceased in 1944. Measurement was re-started after the war and continued untill 1977. In the event the soil would not have supported Hitler's arch unless specially prepared. The Schwerbelastungskörper is now a tourist attraction.