STASI Museum Berlin



Titel: STASI Museum Berlin
Ort: Gedenkstätte Normannenstraße, Ruschestraße 103, Haus 22, Berlin, Germany
Thema: Stasi’s operation techniques
Träger: Nationalmuseum
Kategorie: Historic exhibition
Ausstellungsraum: Interior
Zeitraum: Permanent exhibition
Budget: S

The Museum exists at historical location of the Ministry of State Security, in order to educate and inform people about the one party dictatorship and one of its most important tools. In addition it’s promoting critical analysis of the political system and history of the GDR. Rooms are filled with Stasi memorabilia, including bugging devices (hidden in watering cans, rocks and even neckties) and exhibits explaining the extent of institutionalized surveillance and repression in the GDR as well as efforts of resistance against the regime. There are also Mielke’s obsessively neat offices and his private quarters (head of the Ministry of State Security, from 1957 to 1989), preserved just as while running.


Exhibition space is located in former building of the Ministry of State Security, however there are only two floors open for visitors. The first one is filled with GDR memorabilia and the second one is preserved as in working condition and looks the same as before closing the whole facility. Spacious offices are filled with designers furniture, communication equipment and even plants. Some of the rooms show bugging equipment and interrogation practices. The rest of the building is functioning as research facility and doesn’t have any purpose for tourists.



Gestalterische Mittel:
Most objects are presented in glass cases. Furniture in interiors is separated from visitors with ropes, creating a pathway through the whole building. The most worthy to remember are panels in interrogation rooms which are focusing on one victim each one. They show their repression experiences and further life. They are put in the chairs used for interrogation what adds sensuality to the black on white text. The museum lacks interactive presentations which would add a great quality to existing objects.


Panelling is in German only and exhibits are not always self-explanatory. Although it is possible to buy an english booklet it turns to be too long and difficult to read it carefully on the site. The museum carries a strong message against any regime by showing commonly used repression and control practices. It is a unique and very interesting place, especially for the former Eastern Block where most countries are still hiding their dirt under the carpet.


Fotos und Text: Marcin Marek Kumorek
(Erasmus student from Uniwersytet Artystyczny w Poznaniu)