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New exhibition in Berlin opening on the site of the former center of the Nazi Reich

BERLIN (AP) — Visitors to Berlin will again be able to roam the ruins where the Gestapo, SS and other Nazi agencies ran Adolf Hitler's dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, after a newly refurbished exhibition complex opens to the public.

The center, which opens its doors on Friday, adds a museum and a library to the previously spartan exhibit known as the "Topography of Terror," which attracted as many as 500,000 visitors a year over the last two decades.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said at Thursday's official opening that the new exhibits in the former Prinz Albrecht Strasse illustrates that liberty, democracy and civil rights have to be defended on a daily basis.

"We have a responsibility to make sure that something like that never happens again — not in Germany, not in Europe nor in the world," Wowereit said.

New exhibits document how Hitler's Reich operated and how Germans dealt with the dark chapter of history in the aftermath of World War II.

The area once housed not only Hitler's Gestapo secret police and its prison, but also the leadership of the SS, the Nazi party's paramilitary unit and the Reich Security Main Office. Nazi leaders such as Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann all had offices on the street.

The museum built in the middle of the remnants "leaves the city's scar visible," said the center's director, Andreas Nachama. The site is a few minutes' walk from the capital's Holocaust memorial, which opened in 2005, and the Jewish Museum.

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On the Net:

http://www.topographie.de/en/topography-of-terror/nc/1/