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

Uncovering Berlin’s Infamous Prisons: A Journey Through History

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Original Berlin


Berlin, the vibrant capital of Germany, holds a rich history filled with stories of triumphs and tribulations. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city was divided by ideologies, which resulted in countless human rights abuses and the establishment of notorious prisons. Today, you can explore these remnants of the past on a captivating walking tour that unveils the haunting secrets of Berlin’s dark past. Join us as we delve into the historical significance and notable prisons that lie within this remarkable city.

The Ministry of State Security (Stasi) Prison

In the heart of Berlin, lies a prison that reminds us of the oppressive regime that once governed East Germany. The Ministry of State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, was responsible for surveilling and suppressing political dissent during the Cold War era. The Stasi Prison, located in Hohenschönhausen, was where political dissidents, suspected spies, and individuals deemed as enemies of the state were detained and tortured.

Walking through the past

Stepping into the Stasi Prison is like walking through a time capsule. As you explore the austere corridors and cells, you can imagine the torment endured by the prisoners. The guided tour provided by former inmates offers a unique perspective, enabling you to comprehend the brutality they faced and providing an intimate understanding of the oppressive methods employed by the Stasi.

Make sure to pay attention to the personal anecdotes and stories shared by the guides. These insights allow you to connect with the prisoners’ experiences, humanizing their struggle and reminding us of the importance of the preservation of human rights.

Spandau Prison: Tales of War Crimes

Spandau Prison, located in the western part of Berlin, holds a different chapter in the city’s history. Constructed in the early 19th century, it became known for its role in incarcerating war criminals following World War II. Notably, it housed the infamous Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess.

A glimpse into the past

While the prison itself is no longer accessible to the public, you can visit the outer area where the main building once stood. Although the building was demolished after Hess’s death to prevent it from becoming a shrine for far-right sympathizers, the site still stands as a reminder of the atrocities committed during the war.

Visiting the location prompts contemplation about the dark side of humanity and serves as a stark reminder of the importance of preserving peace and promoting tolerance in our society.

The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial

Another significant prison worth exploring is the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, which served as a detention center for political prisoners during the time of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This site showcases the repressive measures employed by the GDR’s Ministry of State Security.

An immersive journey

The guided tour at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial provides a detailed account of the prison’s history. Former inmates lead the tours, sharing their personal experiences and shedding light on the psychological and physical torment they endured.

As you walk through the corridors and cells, pay attention to the accounts of surveillance, interrogation techniques, and the deprivation of basic human rights. These stories provide valuable insights into the oppressive nature of the GDR reign and emphasize the importance of upholding liberty and justice in any democratic society.

Wrapping Up

Exploring Berlin’s notorious prisons offers a unique opportunity to connect with the city’s history. These walking tours not only allow us to learn from the past but also serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for freedom and justice.

As we unravel the haunting secrets of Berlin’s dark past, it is essential to reflect on the atrocities committed and ensure that they are never repeated. By understanding the adversities faced by those imprisoned, we can work towards creating a society that upholds human rights and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.

Embrace the opportunity to explore Berlin’s infamous prisons and leave with a deeper appreciation for the importance of freedom, justice, and compassion in our world today.

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