Discover Grisly secrets of the stasi

31st March 2006 at 01:00
Where to find out about the Stasi in Berlin today:

* Checkpoint Charlie Museum Friedrichstrasse 43-45 10969.

Unmissable. Not the original Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, but with all the original artefacts on escapes and the confrontation between East and West.

A powerful museum packed with authentic exhibits with English captions.

www.mauermuseum.de (with English version)

* Berlin Wall Documentation Centre Bernauer Strasse 111 13355 . The only place to see original 70-metre strip of the Wall, complete with "death strip" and watch towers. Plus exhibition of photographs, films and radio broadcasts (mostly in German). Witness seminars (including escapees) and tours in English available (must book).

www.berliner-mauer-dokumentationszentrum.de (with English version)

* East Side Gallery Not a museum but a 1.3km long section of the original wall on the East side of the River Spree, between the Oberbaum Bridge and Ostbahnhof, now used as a canvas by artists.

* Haus 1 Normannen Strasse 22 Lichtenberg 10365. Old HQ of the Ministry for State Security (Stasi). Surveillance equipment and weapons used by the Stasi, uniforms, files and an exhibition on how they worked and spied on the organised opposition. Group tours in English (must book).

www.stasi-museum.de (with English version)

* Berlin-Hohenschonhausen Memorial Museum Gensler Strasse 66 13055.

Former Stasi central remand prison and interrogation centre. Provides an authentic picture of Stasi prison conditions and their methods of political persecution. Includes an exhibition on children born while their mothers were in prison. Guides are former prisoners. Group tours in English (must book). www.stiftung-hsh.de (English version: http:en.stiftung-hsh.de)

* Federal Commission for Stasi Archives Otto Braun Strasse 70-72 10478.

Where the main Berlin Stasi archives are held and can be consulted by interested parties by appointment only. Occasional tours are organised in the building - an eye-opener into the huge organisational and clerical input into tracking thousands of citizens and filing informers' reports and other details in pre-computer days. www.bstu-bund.de (German only) An online photographic exhibition organised by the Commissioner for Stasi Documents can be found at www.ddr-bilder.de (with English text)

* DDR Museum of East German Everyday Life Anna Lousia Karsch Strasse 9 10178.

Opens this spring. Artefacts of everyday life in East Germany, including consumer goods, clothes, transport tickets, signs and notices. Information about leisure, sport, books that provide a picture of 1970s and 1980s life in the East.

www.ddr-museum.de (English version at www.gdr-museum.com)

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