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“Terror and torture” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen

Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen
Genslerstrasse 66 | Hohenschoenhausen, 13055 Berlin, Germany
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Ranked #18 of 999 things to do in Berlin
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Terror and torture”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

So many terrible things happened here that it is difficult to describe them, but the tour we took was informative without being sensationalist. Our guide had very good English and was able to answer everyone's questions. We came away feeling rather overawed, but thinking that it is important to remember what went on under the East German dictatorship.

Visited November 2012
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Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
8 attraction reviews
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39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“An Insight into the lives of Germans in the Soviet & Stasi Era”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Our guide was a very knowledgeable historian of life in East Germany during the Soviet and Stasi era. He was able to provide many anecdotes from former inmates of the prison in fluent English.

What we were unaware of was that the former concentration camps were used to house so called political prisoners from the Stasi time.

Even in November, there were many tours taking place within the prison at the same time & the English language tour was particularly popular.

Visited November 2012
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
120 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Interesting but was expecting more.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

I was looking forward to this tour and learning more about this part of history which I did, and I did enjoy the tour but it would of been nice to hear some actual stories from prisoners and for the guide to go more in depth. Our guide was German and was struggling to speak full english so was difficult to follow, I would still recommend taking a visit here as it is still worth the 5 euro and rather interesting. It is quite short and lasts around 1hour30mins.

Visited October 2012
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South Coast of England
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A Disturbing Reminder”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

A very moving experience. I'm glad we went. Shows how low human beings can go in their treatment of others. Hopefully a way of making all people understand that we can never again treat our fellow man so badly.

Visited October 2012
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Ilkley, England, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

My husband and I visited the prison on day 2 of a three day trip to Berlin and it was well worth the trip out to the outskirts of the city. I knew I wanted to visit but struggled slightly with practicalities given that the prison website wasn't overly user friendly. First up getting there - we took the u bahn to alexanderplatz and then the m5 tram from the platz to freierwalder strasse. We knew that there was one tour per day in English at 2.30pm and therefore left alexanderplatz at just after one to allow plenty of time. The tram takes about half an hour through nondescript and very obviously eastern bloc style suburbs. Jump off at freierwalder strasse and then a short walk - 10 mins max - following the signpost to 'gedenkstatte'. When you reach the t junction at the end of freierwalder strasse, you have arrived! The prison is opposite you, but but you should first go to the reception area to register for a tour. This is in the green and white office block on the right when you reach the t junction. Walk to the very end, turn right and you will find the entrance. This block used to be where the stasi made their listening devices and gadgets, but now on the ground floor you will find a one room reception area where there is a bookshop, small information display and coffee shop. Buy your tour ticket from the paydesk, grab a coffee and browse the books while you wait (we had over half an hour to wait having erred on the side of caution re timing). There are no bathroom facilities here, but there are modern toilet blocks within the prison grounds and this will be the first place that your guide takes you before starting the tour. The tour lasts 90 mins and there are no other loo facilities in that time.
As far as the tour itself was concerned, our guide was a young Hungarian woman. Although she had not been held in the prison, she had been brought up behind the iron curtain and quite obviously had raw emotion in her voice at times when talking of the oppression suffered under the stasi and their equivalents throughout the eastern block. We were shown the underground torture cells, transport van, solitary cells, interrogation rooms etc. we also heard a number of anecdotes and eyewitness evidence about what happened inside and out of the prison. It was powerful stuff and quite horrific to think how recently this was happening in Europe. Even worse is the thought that similar continues to happen in various locations throughout the world. What exacerbated the impact of the visit was the grey, drizzly Late October weather and the fact that it was dusk when we left at 4. The trip to hohenscgoenhusen was both fascinating and horrific at the same time. It is certainly a must see on a trip to Berlin in order to understand the regime of the east, and at 5euro per adult plus the cost of an AB zone travel ticket, it will not break the bank. Try reading Stasiland by Anna Funder before going to add to the experience.

Visited October 2012
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