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German Ministry Denies 'Crucial' Filming Location for Tom Cruise Film

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Jul 02, 2007 | 6:27am EDT

Germany's Finance Ministry has banned Tom Cruise from filming his forthcoming movie at the Bendlerblock memorial site, despite pleas from the studio the location is "crucial" to the film.

Cruise is playing World War II hero Col. Claus von Stauffenberg--who lead an unsuccessful plot to assassinate Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler--in new film Valkyrie.

Despite the Defense Ministry's claims last month that they would not permit Cruise to film at any of the country's military sites, the Finance Ministry--which oversees the properties in question--said the star was welcome to film in Germany, the only exception being Bendlerblock.

Bendlerblock is a military building, which includes a memorial to Von Stauffenberg, who was executed at the site in July 1944.

The Defense Ministry announced they wouldn't allow Cruise to film Valkyrie on any of its sites, because they objected to his controversial Scientology religion, which is regarded as a moneymaking cult by German authorities--but the Finance Department denies their decision is related to Cruise's Scientologist beliefs.

Spokesman Stefan Olbermann says, "They will not be permitted to film at the Bendlerblock but this has nothing to do with (Scientology).

"We welcome the fact that such a film is being made. We don't think it would be appropriate to film there."

Von Stauffenberg's eldest son Berthold von Stauffenberg has publicly denounced the casting of Cruise, saying, "He should keep his hands off my father."

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