Lonely Planet review for Gedenkstätte Plötzensee
Nearly 3000 people were executed at Plötzensee prison during the Third Reich, about half of them German resistance fighters. The room where the beheadings and hangings took place is now a hauntingly simple memorial. Housed in a plain brick shed, only a steel bar with eight hooks pierces its emptiness. Next door, an exhibit documents the Nazis’ perverted justice system, which gleefully handed out death sentences like candy at a parade. The extent of their cruelty knew no bounds. The families of the condemned even had to pay for the cost of the execution, while executioners received a bonus for each bloody deed. They were particularly busy in 1944 when many of the conspirators of the failed assassination attempt on Hitler on 20 July of that year – and their (mostly uninvolved) relatives and friends – were hanged here, a process the Führer allegedly captured on film. A free English brochure, available at the desk, provides more details than you probably want to know. Sections of the original prison are now a juvenile detention centre.