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Construction begins on Gestapo museum

Construction began on a new home for Berlin’s Gestapo museum and documentation center.

The current open-air exhibit, called “Topography of Terror,” eventually will be moved to the permanent building, which has been 20 years in the planning. Its construction began this weekend.

The 10-year-old photographic exhibit, which reportedly draws 400,000 visitors annually, is located on the site of the former headquarters of the Nazi secret police, or Gestapo. A strip of the Berlin Wall borders one side of the exhibit, which is in former East Berlin.

The center’s executive director, Rabbi Andreas Nachama, said he hoped visitors to the new center at “what was once the artery of the Third Reich” would “walk away with a feel for the dimension of what happened,” according to a report by the Deutsche Welle.

The building, designed by architect Ursula Wilms, is scheduled to open in 2009. It is expected to cost $27 million.

According to Nachama, the section of Berlin Wall will remain as a testament to those who “tried to scale the wall of inhumanity.”

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