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Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial

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The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen) hosts guided tours through the former political prison operated by the East German Communist Ministry of State Security, better known as the Stasi. The prison was in operation until 1990 and was used by the GDR to oppress and torture political activists. It was opened to the public in 1994, after the reunification of Germany. Guided tours of the former prison are led by historians and former political prisoners themselves, so a visit will definitely leave an impression.
Maurizio MassaroBy Maurizio Massaro
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Museum Berlin-Hohenschönhausen | Wiki Commons: Bjoertvedt CC-BY-SA 4.0

The History of the Stasi Prison at a Glance

A permanent exhibition as well as changing special exhibitions illustrate a dark chapter of Berlin's post-war period

History

The grounds of the Ministry of State Security's (Stasi) pretrial detention center were not marked on public maps and were a restricted military area. Initially used by the Soviet secret service, it was used by the Stasi from 1951 to 1989 for the detention and torture of opposition figures. A new building was added to the Stasi prison in 1961.

The compound, sealed off with watchtowers, high walls and metal gates, was the site of the central remand prison, a labor camp and other Ministry of State Security facilities. Prison conditions were inhumane, torture was physical and psychological.
Stasi-Prison Berlin-Hohenschönhausen | Flickr: Oh-Berlin.com CC-BY 2.0

Permanent exhibition "Imprisoned in Hohenschönhausen - Testimonies of Political Persecution 1945 to 1989".

Over 300 photos and 500 artifacts vividly depict the history of the Stasi prison, and there are also over 100 media stations available. In addition, the premises of the former Hohenschönhausen prison can be visited as part of a two-hour guided tour, which is usually led by former prisoners.
Memorial plaque | Wiki Commons: OTFW CC-BY-SA 3.0

Contemporary Witnesses Tell of the Unjust State of the GDR

Since the establishment of the memorial in 1994, guided tours of the Stasi prison in Berlin have been given by former inmates or historians who had to experience imprisonment and interrogation first-hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I plan for a visit to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial?

The guided tours take one and a half to two hours, for the exhibitions you can take as much time as you need. Read more.

Is it recommended to visit the memorial with children?

Due to the difficult subject matter, the memorial should not be visited with small children. Older children, on the other hand, may well benefit from a visit with detailed explanations. Read more.

General Information

Opening hours

The memorial itself can only be visited on a guided tour, while the exhibitions can be visited daily from 9 am to 6 pm. Guided tours in English are available from Monday to Friday at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm, and at 10.30 am, 12.30 pm, and 2.30 pm at weekends. Tours in German are available at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm from Monday to Friday and hourly from 10 am to 4 pm at weekends. There is also one tour a week in Russian, at 2 pm on Sundays.

The memorial will be closed on January 1, and December 24, 25, 26, and 31.

Address

Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial
Genslerstraße 66
D-13055 Berlin

Tickets

Entry to the permanent and temporary exhibitions is free. It costs €6 to take part in a guided tour, or €3 for students, apprentices, disabled visitors, holders of the Berlin Pass, unemployed visitors, federal volunteers (Bundesfreiwilligendienstleistende), and members of associations for the victims of political persecution in the GDR. Schoolchildren can enter for a reduced price of €1. If you’re in a group of 7 people or more then you’re advised to book your place on a public tour in advance.

How to get there

The tram stop Genslerstraße is about 550 yards (500m) away and is served by lines 16 and M6. If you’re driving then you can park for a fee in the streets surrounding the memorial.
Maurizio Massaro
Written byMaurizio MassaroMaurizio is a cosmopolitan, a musician and comes around. In his role as a content manager at TicketLens, he is always striving to find new offers as well as writing about sights all over the world.
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