New Third Reich Monument in Berlin





Who exactly were the men who planned and administered the Nazi crimes? The new "Topography of Terror" documentation center opened on Thursday in Berlin at the site of the former Gestapo and SS headquarters. It reveals the faces of the almost unknown perpetrators of the Holocaust.

The index cards cover an entire wall, several hundred of them in pink, beige or green, containing names, dates of birth and handwritten notes. They are the details of some of the 7,000 former employees of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, the amalgamation of the feared SS paramilitary group and Gestapo secret police force -- the men who worked at the very epicenter of the Nazi terror regime.

Sixteen of these thousands of cards that were collected by investigators in Berlin in 1963 jut out from the wall, representing the only former employees of this terror headquarters who ever faced prosecution. And three of these cards are raised further -- showing the trio who were eventually convicted. That is just three out of a total of 7,000.

The exhibition can be seen at the new "Topography of Terror" documentation center opened by German President Horst Köhler on Thursday, just two days before the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. Unlike the nearby Holocaust Memorial, which is dedicated to the Nazis' victims, this modest metallic gray building is designed to highlight the role of the perpetrators, those managers and bureaucrats who from their Berlin offices administered mass murder across Europe.

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