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Berlin marks site of Hitler's bunker

Some fear it may lure neo-Nazis

BERLIN -- The site of Hitler's bunker was marked publicly for the first time yesterday by a historical group trying to demystify one of the Third Reich's most infamous locales.

The bunker's buried ruins lie below a parking lot, playground, and apartment building. The Berlin Underworlds Association unveiled its new marker -- a sign bearing graphics, photos, and a chronology of events -- at the edge of a sidewalk alongside the tree-dotted parking lot.

``This is one of the most symbolic places in Berlin for the crimes the Nazis committed, and we want to make sure people know the whole truth about it," said Sven Felix Kellerhoff, an expert with the private group.

Officials had been hesitant about the marker, fearing neo-Nazis could turn it into a place of pilgrimage.

Edna Hohenfeld, an Israeli tour guide , said the sign, just a stone's throw from the Holocaust Memorial , made her uneasy . ``Why do they have to draw attention to this awful place?" she asked.

But Kellerhoff said guides often stop and tell tourists myths about the site. One claims the bunker had 12 floors and an underground highway that Hitler used to cruise the city . Kellerhoff calls the story ``all complete nonsense."

Hitler, 56, shot himself April 30, 1945 in the bunker. Next to him was his mistress, Eva Braun, who also committed suicide.

Today, not much is left of the old bunker , which Soviet soldiers blew up after the war. Later, the remaining foundation and walls were filled with rubble, and in the 1980s apartments were built, and the site was paved over.

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