The long-awaited Deutsches Historisches Museum, housed in a former Prussian armoury building, the Zeughaus, on Berlins famous Unter den Linden boulevard, has been inaugurated by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. The Zeughaus is now home to a permanent exhibition of 2000 years of German history, with over 8000 exhibits ranging from Roman artefacts to Nazi uniforms and chunks of the Berlin Wall. Described by Hans Ottomeyer, the museum director, as a passageway through history that is neither chronologically nor thematically structured, the exhibition includes a space on the ground floor dedicated to the Third Reich including Hitlers desk, letters sent from concentration camps, a bomb shelter and a model of Auschwitz. The exhibition, which was the brainchild of former chancellor Helmut Kohl, has taken nearly 20 years to complete.

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