Genslerstraße 66, 13055 Berlin
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- Contact us:
+49 30 98608230
- Opening hours:
Öffentliche Rundgänge für Einzelpersonen ohne Voranmeldung
- Montag bis Freitag 11.00 Uhr und 13.00 Uhr
- Dienstag bis Donnerstag zusätzlich um 15.00 Uhr
- Samstag und Sonntag stündlich zwischen 10.00 Uhr und 16.00 Uhr
- Besichtigung des "Grotewohl-Ex
3 reviews of Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen in English
A highly interesting place giving a perspective on a lesser-known part of German history – especially to anglosaxon people. They offer English-language tours on weekends; in winter there is one Sundays at 14:00.
This is the main detention center of the political police of East Germany (Ministery for State Security - Stasi - Ministerium für Staatssicherheit).
Entrance price: 5 euros.
Far from downtown, it can nevertheless easyly be accessed. Downtown, at Alexanderplatz, catch the tram M5 (next to the train station, direction Hohenschönhausen/Zingster Strasse) and after a 30-minute journey leave the tram at the stop Freienwalderstrasse.
At this map:
you can locate the bus stop (diamond shape) and the prison (circle).
As a piece of history, this is certainly impressive: you can visit the detention cells, some of the torture rooms (beware: this is NOT a torture museum center - The Stasi used rather mental than physical torture), the interrogation rooms... The almost industrialized approach of the political repression is incredible.
Against: if you visit the venue alone, you will understand little, if any. This is the kind of exhibit which needs a guided visit in order to understand something). And, alas, the guided visit is only available in... yes, you guessed right. German...
The guided visit (often led by a former Stasi-inmate held captive in this very prison) is somehow chaotic. The day I went there they were by all means not prepared for the amount of people they had to handle with. The different groups met continuously on their way, you could hardly hear your own guide because of the one talking a few meters away...
But the historical testimony of the political repression in East Germany makes it worth the visit.
If you want to know beforehand what this is all about, open the link below and print this brochure:
published by the foundation managing the venue.
From the outside you see tall prison walls, electric and barbed wire, watch towers, etc. The inside is surprising and impressive: On the upper floors touchingly bourgeois floral wall paper; in the basement gay sauna ambience. This is an experience not only for amateur local historians, but also for architects, designers, artists, etc.
Recommended: The Mies van der Rohe House near the prison in Oberseestrasse 60. www.miesvanderrohehaus.de. The houses by the Obersee were earmarked for high-ranking Stasi staff until the opening of the wall.
This review has been translated from the original language.
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