Between 1933 and 1945, the central institutions of Nazi persecution and terror were located on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, just steps away from Potsdamer Platz in the heart of Berlin. In this building were housed the Secret State Police Office with its own “house prison,” the leadership of the SS and, during the Second World War, the Reich Security Main Office. Today, this house of terror is gone, but a permanent exhibition within the old foundations documents the apparatus of Nazi persecution.
Trapped in the shadow of the Berlin wall for decades, the site was largely ignored until the basement cells of the Gestapo house prison were finally excavated in 1987 for exhibitions marking the 750th anniversary of the city of Berlin. After German reunification in 1989, the site became one of the most visited memorials in Berlin. After years of debate about how to give the site and the exhibition a proper home, a design by architect Ursula Wilms (Heinle, Wischer und Partner, Berlin) and the landscape architect Heinz W. Hallmann (Aachen) was chosen in 2006 and completed in 2010.
Dr. Andreas Nachama, director of the “Topography of Terror” foundation, will discuss the new documentation center and permanent exhibition. He will also discuss the exhibit “The Face of the Ghetto: Pictures by Jewish Photographers from the Lodz Ghetto 1940-1944” which was curated by the “Topography of Terror Foundation” and opens at the United Nations in New York on January 24.