Führerbunker: Now see how Hitler lived in Berlin through WWII | travel | Hindustan Times
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Führerbunker: Now see how Hitler lived in Berlin through WWII

From Tuesday onwards, the Berlin Story Museum will open an exhibition called Führerbunker which shows the replica of the former air-raid shelter on the Wilhelmstrasse where Adolf Hitler spent his final days.

travel Updated: Nov 01, 2016 11:48 IST
AFP
The new Führerbunker exhibition in Berlin will provide a guided tour around a replica of the former air-raid bunker in which Hitler committed suicide in 1945.
The new Führerbunker exhibition in Berlin will provide a guided tour around a replica of the former air-raid bunker in which Hitler committed suicide in 1945.(AFP)

From Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the new Führerbunker (Hitler’s bunker) exhibition in Berlin will offer guided tours around a replica of the study in which Hitler committed suicide in 1945.

Today, the original site of the bunker in which Adolf Hitler spent his final days is covered by a car park and a simple, discreet plaque. The Führerbunker exhibition, curated by the private Berlin Story Museum, reproduces the bunker in a former air-raid shelter on the Wilhelmstrasse in central-west Berlin, just two kilometers from the original site. The controversial exhibition has been accused of sensationalizing the war crimes committed under Hitler’s leadership.

A selection of replica rooms includes the office in which Hitler shot himself on April 30, 1945. The tour -- the only way to visit the bunker’s rooms -- begins in a former World War II shelter, originally built to house 3,500 people but which, by the end of the war, gave refuge to 12,000 citizens.

In an interview with local media, Wieland Giebel from the Historiale organization (which runs the Berlin Story Museum) explained that the choice of an air raid bunker was important for the exhibit’s relationship with the shelter’s history: “We did not want to separate one from the other.” While the exhibition provides a replica of Hitler’s office and a scale model of the entire underground complex, the Berlin Story museum documents 800 years of Berlin’s history, including Nazism.

A replica of the study in which Hitler shot himself on April 30, 1945. (AFP)

The museum’s exhibition, however, has come in for heavy criticism, and been accused of poor taste and sensationalism. The city of Berlin has many artifacts documenting the Nazi regime, but most are presented through sober, discreet exhibitions, and some -- such as the original site of the Führerbunker -- are barely acknowledged, for fear of attracting Neo-Nazi sympathizers or site vandalism.

The tours of the replica Hitler bunker are available in both English and German, and will be open to the public from November 1, 2016, at the Berlin Story Museum.