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Excavation Begins at Site of Hitler’s Demolished Chancellery

March 31, 1993

BERLIN (AP) _ Workmen have started excavating the site of the huge chancellery built for Adolf Hitler by Nazi architect Albert Speer - a site that was once in the no- man’s land of the Berlin Wall.

The Bild newspaper said Wednesday that the excavation was being supervised by Berlin’s director of archaeology, Alfred Kernd’l.

″I’m still checking to see if there is even anything left there,″ it quoted Kernd’l as saying.

Kernd’l and other city officials are considering erecting a memorial at the site as a reminder of the horrors of the Nazi era. But Jewish groups are against such a move, fearing it could become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis.

The chancellery was built in 1938 to replace the old Reichskanzelei building, which Hitler declared too small. In the new building, visitors had to walk more than 200 yards to reach the reception hall and Hitler’s office.

The chancellery was heavily damaged by shelling at the end of the war, and Soviet and East German forces leveled what was left in 1949.

Hitler shot himself in a bunker under the chancellery on April 30, 1945, but apartment buildings have since been built over that site.

The area being excavated was in the no-man’s land between the inner and outer parts of the Berlin Wall, erected in 1961 and torn down in 1989.

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