Work on Gestapo victims memorial to begin in Berlin

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After years of discussion and one false start, work begins Friday on a "Remembrance and Documentation Museum" in Berlin - on the site of the former Prince Albrecht Palais where the Gestapo and the SS had their notorious interrogation and torture cells during World War II. Unlike the city's 2005-built Holocaust Memorial honouring the murdered Jews of Europe, and Daniel Libeskind's daringly designed 1999 museum dealing with Berlin's Jewish tradition and history, the "new" museum - when completed in 20 months' time - is to focus attention on the gruesome machinery of espionage, torture and liquidation used by the Nazis to enforce their 1933-45 reign of terror in Germany.

"Here, the emphasis will be on the perpetrators of Nazi crime, not the victims. Here we speak about the centre of evil," says Andreas Nachama, director of the Topography of Terror Foundation in Berlin.

"This was where Nazi terror across Europe was conducted. We don't talk about one victim group here, we talk about terror and about how a democracy was, in the period between January and June 1933, turned into a totalitarian dictatorship, able to subordinate all of the institutions of the state to its purpose."

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