Stasi Prison

A former East German prison, which cruelly remanded political prisoners secretly for decades

TravelCurious Tip

If you want to know more about life under the Stasi, watch the brilliant Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), an Oscar-winning German film partly set in the prison.

When the East German secret police, the Stasi, was formed in 1950, they soon realised that they were going to need somewhere to detain the hundreds of dissidents, deserters and undesirables being dredged up by their extensive civilian spying campaign. This site in Hohenschönhausen was the obvious choice. The chillingly-named “Special Camp No. 3” had been created by the Soviet Army in the aftermath of WW2, and German prisoners had been housed there in deplorable conditions. With the facility now vacant, the Stasi moved in.

Destroying the Evidence

It’s hard to know for sure how many prisoners passed through these walls. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Stasi prison was one of the few government locations which was not immediately stormed by demonstrators, giving the authorities enough time to destroy most of the evidence of the prison’s history and function. Much of what we do know comes from the eyewitness testimony of former prisoners.

House of Horrors

Some of these former inmates have bravely overcome their demons, and they now comprise the majority of the tour guide staff at the prison. They will guide you past the looming guard towers and coils of barbed wire to the interrogation rooms, 120 of them, where suspected dissidents were often tortured by three staff at a time. You’ll also see the infamous “U-Boat”, the windowless cell where unyielding prisoners were kept with the light permanently on, in an attempt to break their resolve. Cheery and fun it may not be, but the Stasi prison is a shocking insight into events that occurred less than 30 years ago.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Berlin
Babelsberg Palace
Summer home of the First German Emperor, constructed in English Gothic revival in 1835
Glienicke Bridge
Famous as the site of many Soviet/ American spy exchanges throughout the cold war
Schloss Cecilienhof Palace
The location of the Potsdam conference. Where Churchill, Truman and Stalin partitioned post-war Europe in 1945
An old Russian colony, created in 1826-27 upon the request of Frederick Wilhelm III
Dutch Quarter
A neighbourhood of 169 beautifully preserved red Dutch brick houses, built from 1733 to 1740
Sanssouci Palace
Often described as the Versailles of Germany. It is the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia

Related Tours

VIP Potsdam by Car: Picturesque Palaces & Cold War History
Escape the crowded streets of Berlin and venture to Potsdam on this VIP tour.

  • Depart from your hotel and enjoy the comfortable drive through fascinating East Berlin.
  • Visit the Schloss Cecilienhof Palace where Churchill, Truman and Stalin partitioned Germany in 1945.
  • Explore the Russian colony of Alexandrowka and see the beautiful Dutch quarter. 
  • Pass the infamous Communist Statsi Prison, The Orangery and enter Sanssouci Palace.

Potsdam is a city from your dreams; its endless castles, palaces, gardens and lakes served as the home of Kings and Emperors for three hundred years. It was finally given UNESCO status in 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union. Full of incredible history, from Prussian royalty to the Cold War, this treasure is as fascinating as it is beautiful.

Begin your tour at the majestic  Schloss Cecilienhof Palace, where Churchill, Truman and Stalin shaped and partitioned post-war Europe and Asia in 1945. Next explore the 18th century Russian colony of Alexandrowka and its 13 wooden houses; see one of the best collection of Dutch buildings outside of Holland. Pass the feared East German Stasi Prison, which cruelly housed political prisoners secretly for decades. Finish your private, relaxed tour at the Orangery Palace and the undisputed jewel of Potsdam: Sanssouci Palace – marvel at its stunning Rococo architecture. A private transfer will then whisk you off your feet and return you to your accommodation in Berlin.

Note: Due to strict policy at Sanssouci Palace, your guide will not be able to accompany you throughout your time here. They will rendezvous with you at the exit. 

We built this tour because 
it invites individuals a speedy and comfortable way to explore Potsdam's palace. 


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