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New Topography of Terror museum to open

DDP/The Local · 6 May 2010, 09:08

Published: 06 May 2010 09:08 GMT+02:00

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German President Horst Köhler and Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit will open the memorial centre and museum on Thursday afternoon. Wowereit has described the centre as a “cornerstone of Berlin’s culture of remembrance.”

The Nazi security headquarters were used to torture and murder political dissidents and prisoners of war during World War II. Key elements of the Holocaust were also planned there.

The original exhibition was put up in 1987 as part of the celebration of Berlin’s 750th birthday.

But the snowballing cost of the new centre meant long delays. The final building, which documents in great detail the horrors perpetrated by the SS and Gestapo, has cost €37 million.

Story continues below…

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:26 May 6, 2010 by mobiusro
Tax payer's money badly spent...
09:54 May 6, 2010 by Portnoy
Hi Mobius!

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Have a nice day.
12:55 May 6, 2010 by mobiusro
I am more than willing to read an explanation. Or do you resume at just shooting down and then exiting the stage? :)
13:02 May 6, 2010 by wood artist
mobius, I'll be a little more specific.

Do you think the money was ill-spent because of the project, or just that the project was ill-managed. Those are two different things, and what drives your opinion matters.

Just curious.

13:08 May 6, 2010 by mobiusro
I meant ill-spent. The article states so itself : But the snowballing cost of the new centre meant long delays. The final building, which documents in great detail the horrors perpetrated by the SS and Gestapo, has cost €37 million. .

On the other side - if only spending this much would prevent such things from happening in the world... but I do not think that this will ever be so.
14:21 May 6, 2010 by Portnoy
You don't know what you're talking about MOB because, in fact, this is the second version of the memorial. The original project by Peter Zumthor went WAY WAY over budget and, in order to keep from wasting taxpayer money, the Berlin government pulled the plug and re-started the process, ending in this version.

But hey, please be sure to base your opinion on one mini-article. I'm sure you know best!
14:56 May 6, 2010 by majura
Almost all projects in Berlin run over budget. Stop whining and accept it as a way of life! :p

I think though in the end, having a building is far better than the temporary 'museum' that was there.
15:23 May 6, 2010 by carliecutie
This project was not built just to spend tax payers' money. I think we should focus on why they spent almost €37 million.No price will ever be enough for the losses, the deaths, the torture, and the humiliation that millions of people had experienced. I don't think that €37 million is a lot when you really compare what they are spending it on.
15:47 May 6, 2010 by Henckel
It's the war guilt theme we've been hearing for decades. Certain interests wish to keep Germany down, subjected, feartful, and guilty for the past. It began with Versailles, and continued with Yalta and Potsdam.
16:48 May 6, 2010 by William Thirteen
it has nothing to do with war guilt. if one chooses to do a little research one may discover that the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais was taken over by Heydrich's Sicherheitsdienst in 1934, well before the war. Offices up top for the trenchcoat terror team and basement accomodations used to house & torture Gestapo prisoners, most of them German.

The reason the ToT was so expensive was that even though Zumthor's half completed design was torn down it had already cost 13 million, so over a third of the money was just washed down the drain (or carted away in dump trucks). While absurd, I am not sure that building costs in Berlin end up being more over budget than any other big city. We're just the capital so it makes for better headlines....
17:29 May 6, 2010 by Talonx
@ Henckel

I think you meant nazi guilt in general. This has nothing to do with nazi guilt either, that argument only really holds for the 60's generation of West Germans. The guilt tripping is long since passed as being a legitimate means of preventing recurrence. Teaching one, one's countries past is not synonomous with teaching guilt or pride, though for various nations (e.g. most nations) it is functionally treated as such and pushed on children as such. In Germany national identity is not taught as an essentially personal identity with nearly the amount of fervor that occurs elsewhere. In any event, making information and museums about the Nazis available is a pretty good means of letting people (especially German children) know that human atrocity is possible even in their own country. It's unfortunate that more nations don't do it this way and instead all focus on Nazi Germany instead of their own dark pasts.

@ William Thirteen

Excellent clarifications.
18:08 May 6, 2010 by William Thirteen
Thx Talonx,

indeed Germany has become a superb model in its efforts to come to grips with its past. If we look around unfortunately we see that many nations across the globe are unable even to admit their crimes, much less attempt to learn from or atone for them.

As the song says...

"Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, Here I am, stuck in the middle with you"
16:06 May 7, 2010 by carliecutie
You are almost correct, Talonx. There are horrors in every nation, and every nation has its horrors. However, not all nations have had such a horrible past as Germany has. We are all guilty of hate, of jealousy, of discrimination. The United States had their slavery, their racism, and their Rosewood incident, of which they are still amking amends. Others have had their revolutions, their murders, and their opinions expressed in horrible means. The Holocuast is, by far, the most widely known and recognized. I think all people are somewhat aware of the horror that words, that signs, that beliefs can create. No one person is innocent, but every person can learn from their mistakes, and if you look closely at history, we have never made the same mistake twice.
18:31 May 7, 2010 by derExDeutsche

Let me get this straight!!! Germany is going to prevent anything like the Gestapo and the SS from ever happening again! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Are you taking into account the Communists and former E. Germans who wish that they were still under the thumb of the Stasi?

Or, maybe Germany's Terrorist Sympathizers, the ones that fill the Streets in the Hundreds of thousands when someone actually does something about the Genocidal Islamists? hahahahaha

Nice Dream!!!
09:25 May 9, 2010 by Talonx
@ serExDeutsch

I applaud your ability to consistently formulat incoherent non-substantive babble interspersed with capsed H's and A's.
17:52 April 8, 2011 by who+dares+wings
Germany needs to set down more cornerstones in the erection of a nation wide "culture of remembrance." Voters should let their representatives know they want them to cut back the spending on free nuclear submarines for Israel and redirect these taxpayer funds into building more Topography of Terror Museums throughout the country. Why? Because you can visit a terror museum, but not an atomic submarine. Those are top secret and invisible! Terror museums are also better than submarines for teaching children about good and evil. Regularly scheduled interactive exhibits about Gestapo and SS terror will leave a lasting impression on young minds especially when presented as games and cartoons. Nobody likes to be terrorized by the nazis, not even nazis!
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