• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Hitler's bunker to be rebuilt
Hitler in Berlin in 1945. Photo: Federal Archives.

Hitler's bunker to be rebuilt

Sabine Devins · 9 Jan 2015, 09:48

Published: 08 Jan 2015 15:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2015 09:48 GMT+01:00

"We're just in the planning stages – the architects are working on it," museum director Ingo Mersmann told The Local on Thursday. He hopes to have the model Führerbunker open to the public this summer.

Mersmann intends to reconstruct five rooms of the Führerbunker where Hitler ended his life as Russian forces advanced on Berlin.

Planned is the rebuilding of Hitler's rooms, his secretary's office, the radio room and the clinical room of Hitler's personal physician, Dr. Morrell.

The "Top Secret" museum is not in Berlin - which would perhaps be too sensitive a location for such a project, but  Oberhausen, near Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia.

"We want this to be an educational experience so that families or groups of school kids can see how it really was: To experience the tiny rooms and the dampness of the bunker. We want to recreate it to show people," Mersmann said.

"We are doing so very carefully and with sensitivity," he added.

The museum bills itself as a family museum with interactive exhibitions on espionage. It made headlines a couple years ago when it rebuilt Osama bin Laden's hiding place from which American forces pulled him out of in 2011. They also have props from a James Bond film and a hat that once belonged to Cuban leader Fidel Castro. 

Instead of hanging Hitler's portraits all over the walls as they were in the original Führerbunker which was located between Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg Gates in Berlin, the museum will instead hang empty black frames.

"We certainly don't want to recreate a place for the misguided people who still see him as a hero to come as a pilgrimage.  We are planning against that," Mersmann said.

Mersmann, a historian billed as an espionage and terrorism expert on Top Secret's website, is working with two other historians and basing their plans from the floor plans that were in the Federal Archives, as well as pictures and other documentation of the building. 

Even the reconstructed set for the movie The Downfall, depicting the Nazis fatal last stand in Berlin, is being used as part of Mersmann's plans. 

The Bunker as it was destroyed in 1947. Photo: Federal Archives

The original bunker was stormed in 1945 by Russian troops shortly after news of Hitler's death by suicide became known. The Nazi leader had moved into the bunker at the beginning of the year and occupied its lower chambers, controlling German forces from there until it was clear that his battle was lost.

The Führerbunker was destroyed in 1947 and the rooms buried under its own rubble. All that remains to be seen now is a car park. The only thing marking its former site is an information board showing a rough schematic plan and its historical facts. It was erected in 2006 ahead of Germany playing host to the World Cup. The policy on Nazi landmarks in Germany has always been to make them forgettable as to avoid neo-Nazis making pilgrimages to the sites.

The information board at the site of the former Führerbunker in Berlin. Photo: DPA

This isn't the first time that an organisation tried to recreate Hitler as part of their museum experience. When Madame Tussaud's wax museum announced they were creating a Hitler figure to be included in its Berlin centre, there was much outcry about it. Upon opening, the exhibit's  second visitor in ran to the exhibition and decapitated the model while yelling "No more war!" in German.

Story continues below…

But Mersmann feels confident in going ahead with his plans.

"There is great interest in these things. People want to see it," he said.

Mersmann hopes to have the basement bunker open in time for the summer season and though the exhibition will be a permanent part of his museum, visitors will have to pay an extra €3 on top of the €12.50 ticket price.

 

 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sabine Devins (sabine.devins@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,653
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd