Berlin Story Museum Opens Controversial Reconstruction of Hitler’s Bunker

Is this a case of historical memory or sheer sensationalism?

The bunker in Berlin that houses a museum exhibition about the Führerbunker. Photo courtesy Historiale e.V./Berlin Story Bunker.

The Berlin Story Museum has recreated part of the Führerbunker—where Hitler spent his final days and killed himself in 1945—and is now taking visitors on guided tours.

The original Führerbunker, located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, was almost entirely demolished by 1989. Today, the site is a parking lot, with just a small plaque marking the location to avoid it becoming a neo-nazi pilgrimage site. That’s why the museum is using another nearby World War II air-raid shelter to host its recreation.

The Berlin Story Museum is a popular tourist attraction that makes exhibitions based on landmark events in the history of the city. According to iNews, visitors requested to see the infamous bunker so often that the museum decided to oblige.

The exhibition focuses on the history of the Führerbunker, with a scale model of the original site’s winding network of underground rooms, original photographs of the now-demolished bunker, and historical information about its construction, history, and use.

Visitors can also see a reconstruction of Hitler’s personal study, as well as stills from the 2004 German film Downfall, a dramatized account of the dictator’s last days.

The reconstruction of Hitler's Führerbunker office. Photo courtesy Historiale e.V. / Berlin Story Bunker.

The reconstruction of Hitler’s Führerbunker office. Photo courtesy Historiale e.V./Berlin Story Bunker.

Other iterations of Nazi-era exhibitions have been controversial. A wax figure of Hitler at Madame Tussaud’s invited vandalism and Nazi salutes, while a planned, but yet-unrealized reconstruction of the Führerbunker in North Rhine-Westphalia was met with skeptical eyes.

To avoid uncontrollable responses, visitors can only see the bunker reconstruction with a tour guide, and cannot take photos of the exhibit, which has been billed by the museum as a site of “learning and remembrance.”

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