After the creation of the Ministry of State Security (MfS) in the German Democratic Republic the
former Russian Prison came under its jurisdiction in March 1951.
Numerous opponents of the communist dictatorship were detained here during the fifties.
The list of those arrested reached from leaders of the uprising of 17 June 1953 to members
of the Jehovah’s Witnesses movement.
Disgraced politicians had to endure many months in the tomb-like cells.
At the end of the fifties prisoners from the adjoining MfS labour camp had to construct a new building with more than 200 prison cells and interrogation rooms.
The vast prison complex was part of an extensive secret area - no ordinary citizen of the GDR was
allowed to enter.
Physical violence became psychological cruelty - methods and techniques to break the prisoner’s resistance and will.
It was prison policy not to inform newcomers of their exact whereabouts.
They were systematically subjected to the feeling of being helpless at the mercy of an almighty authority.
Being completely cut off from the outside world and their fellow prisoners, they were subjected to months of questioning by expert interrogators aimed at coercing them into making incriminating
The peaceful revolution in the autumn of 1989 overthrew the SED dictatorship and resulted in the dissolution of the State Security Service and the ultimate closure of its prisons.
- 14 out of 55 Images which will be in the final Book -