Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free

Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial – Preserving History and Honoring the Past

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin


Welcome to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, a place dedicated to remembering the victims of political persecution during the time of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Located in Berlin, Germany, this memorial serves as a reminder of the injustices committed during the Cold War era. In this blog post, we will explore the historical significance of the memorial, delve into its exhibits, and discuss its importance in today’s world.

A Glimpse of History

The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is situated on the grounds of a former Stasi (the Ministry for State Security) prison. Opened in 1951, this prison was used by the GDR to detain individuals deemed enemies of the state. Thousands of political dissidents, journalists, artists, and people trying to flee to West Germany were imprisoned and subjected to various forms of psychological and physical abuse within these walls.

The Unseen Victims

The memorial sheds light on the tragic stories of the victims who suffered in silence, often facing unlawful detentions and interrogations without any legal representation or basic human rights. Many inmates endured isolation, torture, and surveillance, leaving lasting scars on their lives and the collective memory of the Germany.

Preserving the Past

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the prison at Hohenschönhausen was shut down, and efforts were made to expose the atrocities committed within its confines. The memorial serves as a reminder of the dark and oppressive chapter in German history, ensuring that future generations understand the importance of protecting democracy and human rights.

Exhibits and Guided Tours

Visitors to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial can explore various exhibits and take guided tours to gain a deeper understanding of the prison complex and the experiences of its inmates.

The Main Prison Building

The main prison building is the heart of the memorial. Guided tours take visitors through the narrow corridors and claustrophobic cells, providing a glimpse into the harsh conditions endured by the prisoners. The knowledgeable guides, often former inmates themselves, share personal stories and anecdotes, giving visitors a unique perspective on the lives of those incarcerated here.

Special Exhibitions

The memorial also hosts special exhibitions that explore various aspects of political persecution during the GDR era. These exhibits showcase personal belongings, photographs, and documents, helping visitors understand the impact of the Stasi’s surveillance apparatus and the consequences faced by those fighting for freedom and democracy.

The Importance of Remembering

The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial serves as a crucial reminder for all of us. It encourages visitors to reflect on the importance of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. By preserving the memories of the victims and their stories, the memorial plays a vital role in preventing history from repeating itself.

Education and Awareness

The memorial actively engages with schools, universities, and educational institutions to promote awareness and understanding of this historical period. Educational programs, workshops, and discussions provide students with insights into the impact of authoritarian regimes on individual lives and society as a whole.

Coming to Terms with the Past

For Germany and the rest of the world, the memorial represents the ongoing process of coming to terms with a difficult and troubling past. It serves as a symbol of unity, healing, and the importance of preserving historical memory for future generations.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning a visit to Berlin, a trip to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial should be on your list. It is easily accessible by public transport, and guided tours are available in multiple languages. However, please note that due to the sensitive nature of the memorial, visitors are encouraged to approach with respect and in a contemplative manner.

Tickets and Opening Hours

Entry to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is generally free, although donations are appreciated to support the upkeep of the site. It is recommended to check the official website for any changes in opening hours, as the memorial occasionally hosts special events or ceremonies.

Considerations for Visitors

Before your visit, it’s important to be aware that parts of the memorial can be emotionally challenging. It’s recommended to allocate sufficient time to process the exhibits and take breaks if needed. Furthermore, photography is not permitted inside the memorial buildings, out of respect for the victims and their families.


The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial is a powerful reminder of the human capacity for both oppression and resilience. By illuminating the stories of those who suffered, it serves as a call to action to safeguard the values of democracy, freedom, and human rights. A visit to this memorial is not only an educational experience but also a humbling and sobering opportunity to connect with the struggles of the past and reflect on the world we want to build for the future.

Thank you for reading. If you're inspired by the stories of Berlin and want to delve deeper, why not join us on our Free Berlin Walking Tour? It's a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and vibrant culture. We look forward to welcoming you soon.


  • 3.5 hours walking tour
  • Berlin’s major highlights
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag and Berlin Wall
  • Historical sites

Free Walking Tour Berlin

When: Every day 10am & 12pm every day
Where: The meeting point is in front of the ehemaliges Kaiserliches Postfuhramt Berlin, Oranienburger Straße, 10117 Berlin, Germany, next to the entrance.
Price: Free