The world’s largest permanent exhibition on Hitler and the Third Reich has opened in Berlin to counter what its curators say is disturbing ignorance about the Nazi era.
The exhibition traces Hitler’s story from his birth and details the Nazi period and the war using 2,300 images, including 800 that have not been shown in public before. They include graphic photos of Jewish women being beaten and undressed by Ukrainian militia incited by German officers in 1941.
“When you see the individual suffering, the fear in the faces of these humiliated women being flung to the street, you won’t forget it for the rest of your life,” said Mr Giebel.
In October the organisers opened a recreation of the bunker room where Adolf Hitler committed suicide, prompting the nearby state-funded Topography of Terror museum to call the exhibit a “Nazi Disneyland”.
“That accusation hit us hard,” said Mr Enno Lenze. “We’ve had 100 death threats. Last week alone we got 400 messages such as ‘You belong in Auschwitz’. So if Nazis want me dead I must be doing something right.”
Mr Giebel said that none of the exhibits could be construed as devotional objects relating to Hitler. “You won’t see crap like Eva Braun’s knickers here. Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington focus on the victims. We take the opposite approach. You can only answer the question of how it could happen by looking at the perpetrators. Why did they support Hitler when the whole brutal violence of his regime was already visible?”