November 16, 2018

Hitler bunker reconstructed in Berlin and tens of thousands have come to see

Adolf Hitler continues to fascinate, and a new exhibition in Berlin is proof: a reconstruction of the bunker where the German chancellor took his life in April 1945.

More than 20,000 visitors reportedly have poured in to see the exhibition titled “Hitler: How Could It Happen?” since its opening two months ago. Billed as the “world’s largest documentation about Hitler,” the exhibition was created in four months at a cost of $1.5 million.

Meant to show the dangers of dictatorship, the exhibition also contains thousands of documents, photos and objects that tell the life story of the Nazi dictator, ending with his suicide.

Historian Wieland Giebel, the exhibition’s curator, and museum entrepreneur Enno Lenze told the German media that they wanted to show how low a society can go when it hands over the reins to a dictator. Their re-created bunker is behind glass and, like the wax figure of Hitler in the nearby Madame Tussauds, cannot be photographed by visitors.

Giebel, 67, told Reuters he has been accused of promoting a “Hitler Disney” for re-creating the bunker. His answer: “This room is where the crimes ended, where everything ended, so that’s why we’re showing it.”

Hitler’s actual underground bunker was destroyed in 1947; its site is marked by an informational sign. Several civilian bomb shelters — like the one used for this museum — still stand in the city, nearly indestructible by conventional means.

Before opening the new Hitler-centric museum, Lenze ceremoniously destroyed a clay bust of the dictator and added the shards to a pile of rubble in the exhibition.