The focus of the new permanent exhibition is the question of how the Socialist Unity Party of Germany [SED] managed to keep millions of people in East Germany under control for forty years.
The most valuable instrument in this process was the Ministry of State Security [MfS], the “Shield and Sword of the Party”.
Encompassing three floors of Haus 1, the workplace of the last head of the MfS, Erich Mielke, the exhibition documents the genesis, evolution and activities of the MfS as a “protection and security institution”.
The Stasi, as the people used to call the MfS, was tasked with safeguarding the power of the SED, to protect it from its “enemies”, and was responsible for the control of the population.
The exhibition demonstrates that this apparatus consisted of human beings carrying out comprehensible acts.
Hundreds and thousands of people actively cooperated with the MfS – as full-time or unofficial collaborators, or as supporting functionaries in the administration.
Illustrative examples expose the close cooperation between the MfS and all political, economic and societal institutions of the GDR.
Numerous, often unique, items such as special cameras, bugs, burglar’s tools and devices for the clandestine opening of letters are shown – evidence of the extent of surveillance by the MfS.
Selected examples from the Stasi files further document the activities of the MfS against the people. The offices of Erich Mielke are maintained in original condition and can be accessed as part of the exhibition.
You can get here by taking the underground line U-5 from Alexanderplatz to the Magdalenenstrasse Station, use the exit at Ruschestrasse.
You can also take the Ring-S-Bahn to the Frankfurter Allee Station and then either transfer to the U5 in the direction of Hönow for one stop or simply walk the short distance to the museum (ca. 10 minutes by foot).
- Travel time from Alexanderplatz: 15 min
- Travel time from Potsdamer Platz: 30 min
- Travel time from the Zoo Station: 35 min