MUNICH (AP) — Soon after Nazi Germany's defeat in 1945, there was talk in Munich about building an education center that would document the city's critical role in Adolf Hitler's climb to power. Berlin and some other cities built similar facilities over the years. But the idea languished in Munich, the city Hitler himself called the "Capital of the (Nazi) Movement."
Munich officials decided in 2001 to go ahead with it, and Bavaria's parliament signed on as well. Discussions were marred by disagreements over concepts for exhibits, financing, and even what to call it. But it's finally under construction and scheduled to open April 30, 2015, the 70th anniversary of American troops' liberation of this city from Nazi rule.
In English, it will be called the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism.
The cube-shaped structure is being erected on a site laden with dark symbolism: an empty lot where the Brown House, the Nazis' headquarters, once stood. The area surrounding the Brown House was a Nazi showcase. Buildings in the area housed the party bureaucracy. The vast square located there — called the Koenigsplatz — was turned into a site for mass rallies. The area during Hitler's rule was crawling with Nazi bureaucrats, storm troopers and SS men.
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