The Stasi was East Germany's secret police who put millions of citizens under surveillance in order to oppress internal opposition. This exhibit in the original headquarters of the Ministry of State Security (MfS), as the Stasi was officially known, illustrates the structure, methods and impact of the MfS. Marvel at cunningly low-tech surveillance devices (hidden in watering cans, rocks, even neckties), a prisoner transport van with tiny, lightless cells, and the stuffy offices of Stasi chief Erich Mielke. Panelling is partly in English.

At its peak, more than 8000 people worked in this compound alone; the scale model in the entrance foyer will help you grasp its vast dimensions. Other rooms introduce the ideology, rituals and institutions of East German society. There’s also background on the SED party and on the role of the youth organisation Junge Pioneere (Young Pioneers).

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