Topographie des Terrors – Topography of Terror, Berlin

Niederkirchnerstraße 8 , Berlin
Berlin, Germany
closed on: open daily, except January 1, and December 24 & 31
Museum Type: History / City
Topographie des Terrors, Berlin

Topographie des Terrors – Topography of Terror is a famous historical museum and documentation center in Berlin about the crimes and persecutions perpetrated by the Nazi regime during the Third Reich, yearly visited by over one million people.

Above: the Topography of Terror documentation center in Berlin; photo Andreas Levers (CC BY-NC 2.0).

The museum is located on the same site where, from 1933 to 1945, the Gestapo and SS headquarters once were; at the end of World War Two, the Third Reich’s buildings were razed to the ground by the Allies but the cellars used by the SS remained in place, buried underground.
In 1987 the site, which is also adjacent to the remains of the Berlin Wall, was transformed in an open-air memorial and, in 2010, a new documentation center was built.
The center, designed by the German practice Heinle, Wischer und Partner, is a rectangular, intentionally crude-looking, gray building.

The Topography of Terror’s permanent exhibition is composed of both indoor and outdoor sections.
“Topography of Terror: Gestapo, SS and Reich Security Main Office on Wilhelm- and Prinz-Albrecht-Straße” is housed inside the building and, with photographs, videos, documents, and interactive exhibits, describes the history of the Third Reich’s oppression and criminal activities since its origin up to the after-war period.
The first outdoor section, “Berlin 1933–1945. Between Propaganda and Terror”, is focused on the Nazi infamous policy in Berlin and is composed of information panels in direct relationship with the cellars’ remains.
A second outdoor section is entitled “The Historic Site – Topography of Terror” and presents 15 “stations”, describing the original complex and what the Gestapo and the SS once used it for, this section also includes a part of the Berlin Wall remains.

The center promotes temporary exhibitions, guided tours, and publications and includes a comprehensive specialized library.
The Topography of Terror complex is fully accessible to people with disabilities.

Photos: 1 by Hans G. Oberlack (CC BY-SA 3.0); 2 by Manfred Brückels (CC BY-SA 3.0); 3 and 4 by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

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