Daily Israel Report

‘Topography of Terror’ Museum Focuses on Nazi Murderers

The former Nazi Gestapo and SS headquarters will reopen as a museum with proof of the Nazi death machine, evidence against Holocaust deniers.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 3/1/2010, 2:26 PM / Last Update: 3/1/2010, 2:29 PM

Topography of Terror museum

The former Nazi Gestapo and SS headquarters will reopen as a museum in early May with explanations of how the Nazi death machine worked, providing more evidence against Holocaust deniers. The "Topography of Terror" center is located in the heart of Berlin and will focus on Nazi murderers.

The museum has been functioning in an outdoor provisional facility. "We are not here in Pompeii -- this is not about seeing the original architecture," museum director Rabbi Andreas Nachama told the French news agency AFP during a preview of the new building.  

The museum is scheduled to open two days before the 65th year since the end of World War II. The Allied forces bombed and destroyed most of the headquarters. The new facility includes a library and a permanent exhibition, but it is designed so that visitors will not feel they are in a museum or memorial.

The government-funded facility will include recordings of interviews with survivors of Nazi horrors and will use computer animations to show how the Nazis ran their machine of terror and mass murder.

The Gestapo offices targeted political opponents and plotted the invasions of European countries and the Soviet Union and the “final solution” to exterminate Jews. Approximately 500 people worked in the headquarters, including common clerks and senior Nazi officials.

It is located on the street formerly known as Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, a name that brings shudders to those who remember the horrors of the Gestapo and SS. The Gestapo’s “house prison” held up to 15,000 people who were subject to brutality and torture, many of them executed or driven to commit suicide.    

The temporary museum provides details of the Nuremberg Trials, where leading surviving Nazi leaders were tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.