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The Memorial Berlin Hohenschönhausen

Unearthing History: The Memorial Berlin Hohenschönhausen

Since the collapse of the communist regime in East Germany, a new generation has emerged that knows of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) only through stories. To address the growing lack of awareness about this second German dictatorship, the Berlin Senator for Education, Science, and Research has created an educational program at the Memorial Berlin-Hohenschönhausen.

No other site encapsulates the history of political persecution during the decades of communist dictatorship in East Germany as vividly as this one. Immediately after World War II, a Soviet special camp was established here, where hundreds of prisoners lost their lives. Later, the Soviet secret police built a basement prison, known as the "submarine," that served as a key pretrial detention facility. The GDR's Ministry of State Security subsequently took over the prison, using it as a central pretrial detention institution until 1990.

It was only following reunification that the detention facility was closed. In 1994, it was declared a memorial. Here, in the former prison, young people can critically engage with the history of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) dictatorship. Tours led by former inmates make the experience particularly impactful. The offering of seminars and project days allows for a deep-dive into recent German history that often provokes greater reflection than numerous classroom lessons could ever achieve.


Bildquelle: Von Anagoria - Eigenes Werk, CC BY 3.0,

Address, opening hours…


Address: Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, Genslerstraße 66, 13055 Berlin
Opening Hours: March - October: Monday to Sunday hourly from 10 AM to 4 PM., November - February: Monday to Friday at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM, Saturday/Sunday hourly from 10 AM to 4 PM.


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