Berlin to put a museum on the land where the Gestapo was headquartered

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For decades, even as a renewed Berlin grew up around it, one large lot that might otherwise have been prime territory for development has lain vacant, and not surprisingly.

During the Nazi era, from 1933 to 1945, the site was the headquarters of the Gestapo, perhaps the most dreaded of Hitler's secret police. What to do with the land, where such tides of suffering were put in motion, has long been a matter of uncertainty.

But now, after much discussion and a false start, a design has been chosen from among 23 proposals for a new memorial at what has become known as the Topography of Terror. Its subject is not what the rest of Berlin's wartime memorials commemorate, the many millions of victims of Nazism, but the Nazis themselves and the cruel machinery of espionage, torture and liquidation that they used to enforce their rule.

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