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“Excellent-very atmospheric and amazing guide”

Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen
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US$179.60*
and up
Private Tour: Potsdam Day Trip from Berlin
Ranked #18 of 974 things to do in Berlin
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 1 November 2013

I took a group of 15-18 year old school children in late October 2013 as part of a 4 day visit to Berlin and Poland. The guide was fantastic and able to genuinely captivate our students (despite the fact that they were by this stage very tired!). The personal stories of the different inmates and the interrogation techniques of the Stasi left them open mouthed and at times emotional. This was only enhance by the opportunities to visit the cells, particularly the depressing "submarine" level.

1  Thank Dantheseagull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"stasi prison"
in 93 reviews
"english tour"
in 100 reviews
"interrogation rooms"
in 42 reviews
"ex prisoners"
in 25 reviews
"east german"
in 39 reviews
"state security"
in 11 reviews
"first hand"
in 17 reviews
"tour starts"
in 14 reviews
"eye opening"
in 19 reviews
"cold war"
in 46 reviews
"recent history"
in 24 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 13 reviews
"dark history"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 10 reviews
"ticket office"
in 9 reviews
"two hours"
in 15 reviews
"interesting place"
in 9 reviews
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617 - 621 of 2,199 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2013 via mobile

My husband and I went here on Sunday, because they have an English-speaking tour on Sunday at 14:30. I definitely recommend taking the tour, but just be aware it lasts about 2 hours. Also, if you go during the winter or during wet weather, dress for it! Despite it being chilly and very windy, our tour guide made us stand shivering in the chilly courtyard while he talked about the prison in the 1950's. He wasn't talking about the history of the courtyard, so I'm not sure why we stayed outside so long when several children were visibly shivering.

Aside from that, the tour was good, albeit a little too long. I'm sure that perspective would differ depending on which guide you have. They have lots of guides there that are "time witnesses"- people who lived in the area at the time, as well as former inmates. A friend of mine has been twice and says she learns something different each time, because each guide will tell his or her own story. So if you do speak German, I would encourage you to take the German tour (vs. English) to increase your chances of having a time witness as a guide.

The tour began with a 30 minute video, which was very interesting. It talked about how the prison was taken, expanded, famous inmates, psychological torture, and other things that happened there.

After that, we toured the basement cells, cells in the new wing of the prison, and the interrogation rooms. Photos were allowed, but taking videos was not.

If you have young children, I might not bring them. Our guide talked about a lot of psyhologcial torture techniques (example: people were forced to "sit on bottles" or were punched in the teeth as methods to aid confession). Also, if you take the tour, there's no opportunity to use the bathroom after the 30 minute video. So definitely go during the video, as you won't get another chance for 90 mins.

After the tour, make sure to walk around and look at the museum/exhibit inside one of the buildings. It is full of placards about info regarding the prison, as well as artifacts, photos, and videos. This would be great for everyone to visit, even if you don't do the tour.

2  Thank HollisBrooke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

This museum is far away from the main tourist attractions and deep in the Eastern part of Berlin. However, with Berlin's excellent public transport system, it really is quite easy to get there and I got my directions from TripAdvisor reviews.

You cannot walk around the actual prison complex without a guided tour. There is only one English guided tour everyday, at 2:30pm, about 2 hours long. Thankfully we managed to rush to the museum and caught the 2:30pm tour.

Parts of the prison complex date back to the Nazi era, but most of what is known is from the East German era, although many records about that period were also lost because the East Germans were able to shred much of the evidence before they abandoned the place. So a lot of the information given to us during the tour about life in the prison is based on eyewitness accounts of former prisoners held there.

The living conditions here are certainly not as harsh as in a concentration camp. In fact, life seemed to be fairly comfortable in this prison. The demise of the East German regime is fairly recent with reference to world history and so there will still be a lot we will not know. History has always been open to interpretation, and this prison is likely to fall into that category.

Thank Rachel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Tells the terrible story of the sceret police in the GDR and the terrible ways they manipulated people. Escorted and described by a very good guide.

Thank alhcookboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 October 2013

Well worth a trip out to the suburbs - a very interesting and enlightening memorial. Some of the tour guides are ex prisoners and to hear their memories really brings it to life.

1  Thank amfarquhar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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