Something undeniable of this city is that everywhere you go is immersed in history, you can walk through the streets of Berlin and if you look to the side you can still see bullet holes in the buildings and monuments, if you look down you can see where the wall used to stand, or if you look closely in front of the houses in the different neighbourhoods you can see little metal signs that pay respect to people lost in the Nazi Regime.
Topography of Terror is a documentation centre set on the grounds of the old GESTAPO, RSHA and SD (branch of the SS) headquarters, where countless prisoners were held and plans were mapped. The headquarters were mostly destroyed during the war and were basically used as an old car compound up until the end of the cold war. Yet on 2010 the government and the German people were able to complete the project to turn this place into a museum.
I easily spent 2 hours inside, even though it’s fairly ‘small’, the amount of information is such, that I’ve basically spent most of my afternoon there. When I got there, I was offered to watch a shot film (in Spanish) as an introductory guide and then I was off to see the exhibition.
The centre counts with 3 different exhibitions. The exterior one, on the trenches, which is held in front of one of the longest remaining of the Berlin Wall in the west and explains the role of the media and propaganda during the third Reich. The interior one, which is the permanent exhibition that explain the role of the GESTAPO, SS, SA, RSHA and their crimes throughout Europe, and temporary exhibitions are held from time to time. From April until August, the exhibition begin held is March Formations. The Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg. And its a collection of different maps and models of infrastructure projects during the Nazi era.
If you don’t mind reading and spending a bit of time absorbing all these history fact, then I really recommend visiting this place, plus its a block away from Checkpoint Charlie and close to the Brandenburg Gate.
Until next time.- Jules
Topography of Terror
Niederkirchnerstraße 8 – Berlin (U6 Kochstraße)
Opening Hours: Daily – 10am to 8pm