Dresden – Stasi Prison

After the Second World War, the Soviet Union established a prison and a military court in northeastern Dresden for people who were suspected regime critics. The court could sentence either death penalty or deportation to any Gulag camp in the Soviet Union. In the early fifties, the prison was handed over to the east germans who established a new prison where eastern German critics and suspected critics of the regime were imprisoned. East German citizens who tried or planned to flee or were suspected of fleeing were also imprisoned. These were subjected to intense questioning about their plans and possible helpers on both sides of the wall. The prison existed until the wall fell in the autumn of 1989. During its existense between 12,000 – 15,000 East German citizens were imprisoned. In early December 1989, protesters occupied the prison and prevented the destruction of all documents concerning the prisoners and informers. In the chaos that arose, even the last remaining prisoners were released. All prison activities were subsequently stopped.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2012).

Address: Bautzner Strasse 112a, 01099 Dresden.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Having been in an East German (Stasi) prison cannot in any way have been a pleasant stay, but compared to a Nazi prison or concentration camp, I get the impression that Stasi’s prisons seem to have been a walk in the park in comparison. But in the end, it is meaningless to discuss who suffered most and it is probably a small comfort for all those who found themselves locked up in a Stasi Prison.

Follow up in books: Gieseke, Jens: The History of the Stasi: East Germany’s Secret Police, 1945-1990 (2014).