Berlin demolishes Gestapo museum

3rd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 December 2004 , BERLIN - Demolition has begun of a museum that was planned to illustrate the Nazis' reign of terror in Berlin, but was never completed because of cost over-runs. Three concrete stairwells were all there was to show for 11 years of planning at the cleared site of the former Gestapo headquarters. An excavator has began ripping chunks of concrete from the 15-metre-high towers. Officials said the site would take three weeks to clear and tourists would be free from next May to explore what is

3 December 2004

BERLIN - Demolition has begun of a museum that was planned to illustrate the Nazis' reign of terror in Berlin, but was never completed because of cost over-runs.

Three concrete stairwells were all there was to show for 11 years of planning at the cleared site of the former Gestapo headquarters. 

An excavator has began ripping chunks of concrete from the 15-metre-high towers. Officials said the site would take three weeks to clear and tourists would be free from next May to explore what is left of the foundations of the pre-1945 buildings.

Germany has preserved many concentration camps and bombastic Nazi buildings such as the party parade grounds at Nuremberg as a warning to future generations about the evils of the Holocaust and war.

With little left standing at the city's heart after the battle of Berlin to end the Third Reich, the Topography of Terror was to be mainly a walking tour of the Wilhelmstrasse area, which lay at the centre of the Nazi state, and a documentation centre.

Tens of thousands of visitors already do the tour every year. Posters provide key facts, including pointing out tiles and brick walls of basement rooms that were once Gestapo torture chambers.

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor fiercely defended his design against criticism that it was uneconomic, but lost a case last month in Germany's highest court where he sought an injunction against the city's decision to demolish his work and start designing over again.
The city says EUR 13 million was spent in vain, but completing the experimental Zumthor design would have cost at least EUR 38 million and perhaps far more. Work is still proceeding nearby on Germany's national memorial to the Holocaust.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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