Berlin's Gestapo HQ to be memorial site

Feb. 9, 2006 at 12:13 PM

BERLIN, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The vacant lot in Berlin that was once the site of the headquarters of the Nazis' Gestapo secret police will become a "Topography of Terror" memorial.

"Here is where we will deal with the perpetrators of those 12 years," said Andreas Nachama, director of the Topography of Terror Foundation, which selected a design from 23 proposals. "It is where we will deal with the question of how in 150 days, from January to June 1933, a democracy was turned into a totalitarian dictatorship that was able in that short time to subordinate all of the institutions of the state to its purpose."

Local architect Ursula Wilms won the competition with her design, which is a spare rectangular hall sheathed in a metallic mesh, which lets people look out at other parts of the exhibition but does not let people outside see in, The New York Times said.

The site is where such Nazis as Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich had their offices, and designed and commanded the system of concentration camps and death camps between 1933 and 1945.

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