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“Chilling glimpse into the DDR”

Museum in der Runden Ecke
Ranked #8 of 156 things to do in Leipzig
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Original office of the secret police. The building now presents these police documents and their surveillance equipment to the public.
Reviewed 8 May 2014

A small but fascinating museum that was an absolute must on my trip to Leipzig.

I had wanted to visit the museum ever since reading 'Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder' and it did not disappoint. The full story of the organisation was astonishing and would have seemed laughably absurd in many instances, were it not for the terrible impact it had on the real lives of the people in the DDR.

The audio guide is absolutely essential for any english speaker as it describes the features of the building in its stasi era configuration as much as it explains the exhibits on display. An audio guide costs four euros and can be obtained from the shop down the corridor (if you are in any doubt it is marked on the leaflet/map listing the audio guide points).

I spent 90 minutes in the museum having listened to all the commentary available and taken a reasonable look at the exhibits. Although the displays are not easily understood on their own, the audio guide does a good job of highlighting documents or items that you should pay a closer look at.

1  Thank FolkestoneJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (433)
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115 - 119 of 433 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

This small museum gives a general overview of the functioning of the police in Eastern Europe during the Soviet regime. However, the audio guide is essential if you do not speak/read German. If you have been to similar museums in cities such as Budapest, a visit here is not essential. However, it's free; the neighborhood is quite nice, and there's a piece of the Berlin Wall in front. The building is on the limits of the old city wall but is only about a five minute walk from the central market square.

2  Thank jj435Rye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

The museum is housed in the former district Stasi headquarters: the linoleum floor, harsh lighting, as well as some of the contraptions invented to help the Stasi's immense operations, all aid the atmosphere of being in somewhere old fashioned and sinister. For someone who doesn't know much about the Stasi, this would likely be a shocking and illuminating exploration into the darkest side of GDR history. As I've studied German, however, and read a lot about the Stasi's history and how it's been dealt with since reunification, there wasn't much new to learn about in the main museum.

If you don't understand German, you'll need to borrow an audioguide. Either way, much of the exhibition is of photos and texts on some very old display boards, which show obvious signs of decay and weren't very engaging. The rooms were hot and stuffy, even though the weather wasn't hot. I left the museum feeling I'd "ticked it off the list", but I hadn't felt enlightened by what I had seen. This is actually quite a poor quality museum and memorial site for what is meant to be one of the most important and meaningful attractions in the city. If it was any consolation, entry was free.

I would instead recommend the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum, also in the city centre which tells the story of Germany since 1945, as well as after reunification, using different media and covering a much wider base than just Stasi activity.

1  Thank northernbrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

There was a lot if interesting material, but audio guides are a must. We had to share because we did not have the exact euros for four of us. The sequence of rooms seemed jumbled and in need of better organization.

Thank Liz20002014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Museum housed in the former local headquarters of the Stasi (East German Secret police). The museum tells the story (in German) of how the Stasi spied on the East German population and includes some of the hidden cameras, recording equipment and disguises that agents used

Thank TravellingTom78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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