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Goebbels’ Bunker May Have Been Found

January 27, 1998

BERLIN (AP) _ Workers preparing the site for the future national Holocaust Memorial have uncovered what may be the long-forgotten bunker of one of the Third Reich’s most virulent anti-Semites: Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

The three-room, 1000-square-foot underground space was apparently attached to an adjacent villa _ long since gone _ where Goebbels lived with his wife and six children.

Workers who broke through last week found rusted helmets, munitions and two empty safes. ``Nothing special, unfortunately,″ project director Lutz Leupolt said in an interview Tuesday.

City officials say the discovery will not affect plans to build a national monument to the memory of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust on the site. The land was donated by the federal government for the memorial in conjunction with its return to Berlin from Bonn in 1999.

A new design is to be chosen in mid-March and the cornerstone for the $8.3 million project is to be laid early next year.

``I think it’s very appropriate, even exemplary,″ city culture department spokesman Axel Wallrabenstein said of putting the Holocaust memorial over the Goebbels bunker. It was Goebbels’ hate-mongering against the Jews that helped pave the way for the Holocaust.

Officials believe Goebbels and his family used the bunker during World War II. But as Soviet troops closed in, they moved in with Hitler in his bunker, a few hundred yards away.

Goebbels and his wife committed suicide _ after first killing their children _ in Hitler’s bunker on May 1, 1945, a day after their leader.

The land where the Goebbels bunker was found was for decades part of the no-man’s land of the Berlin Wall.

The city will decide whether the bunker will be blown up, filled in or turned into a museum.

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