Cruise film allowed at Berlin memorial
14 September 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Berlin has relented in its location-shooting ban on a film starring Tom Cruise as a 1944 German resistance hero, a Defence Ministry spokesman said Friday.
14 September 2007
Berlin (dpa) - Berlin has relented in its location-shooting ban on a film starring Tom Cruise as a 1944 German resistance hero, a Defence Ministry spokesman said Friday.
The federal government had previously ruled that an historic defence office building, the Bendler Block, and its public memorial to Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg could not be used for the movie Valkyrie.
That ban had followed an appeal by politicians to shut out Cruise because he advocates Scientology, a creed which Berlin considers anti-democratic. But Berlin insisted the reason was that the memorial was too sacred.
Spokesman Thomas Raabe said Friday the German co-producers of Valkyrie had written to the ministry as occupant and the two sides had agreed on terms after a to and fro which he described as "a dynamic process."
Raabe said the ministry was satisfied that Valkyrie would respect the modern German armed forces' perception of the past.
Stauffenberg, who had planted a bomb that wounded Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944, was shot by a firing squad at the building as Nazi leaders raced to crush the coup.
Cruise is playing Stauffenberg, the only major anti-Nazi hero in Second World War Germany. Filming has already begun at other locations and in studios near Berlin.
The mass-circulation newspaper Bild said the four scenes approved at the Bendler Block included rebel forces cordoning off their coup headquarters, followed by pro-Hitler forces attacking and seizing the building.
Stauffenberg and three other plotters would be shown being killed in the yard.
During World War II, the Bendler Block housed senior armed forces sections. The building was named after Bendler Street outside, now renamed after Stauffenberg.
Despite the government's denial that Cruise's creed had influenced the decision, German film industry figures mocked the ruling in July as intolerant.
Scientology was founded by a US science-fiction writer, L Ron Hubbard.
Subject: German news