The German government has done an about-face and decided to let the makers of Valkyrie, the Tom Cruise starrer about the failed 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler, use the original site where the officers behind the conspiracy were executed.
Thorsten Albig, a spokesman for the finance ministry, said there had been a change of heart about allowing the filmmakers to shoot at the Bendlerblock, where plot leader Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and several of his co-conspirators were killed shortly after the bomb they planted injured but failed to kill the Nazi leader on July 20, 1944.
The finance ministry is responsible for all property owned by the federal government, including the Bendlerblock, which is now a memorial and national German shrine.
“The latest request by the film team was given a positive answer,” Albig said. “There was a different feeling about the project. We will take a closer look with director Bryan Singer at the location and, while ensuring that the dignity of the shrine is protected, see what’s possible and what’s not.”
The defense ministry had raised objections earlier this year because of bad experiences with film crews in recent years who had set up their equipment – and catering trucks – at the location.
Valkyrie – named after the plot’s codename – began filming at locations in Berlin on July 18. The movie will be released on June 27, 2008.