The former Stasi headquarters
An instrument of repression
© Kulturprojekte Berlin / Photo: Oana Popa-Costea
Beginning in December 1989, demonstrators occupied the offices of the secret police across East Germany. On 15 January 1990, thousands of people forced their way into the Berlin headquarters of the Stasi. The SED’s most important instrument of power was finally wrested from its grasp. Citizen committees tried to control the dissolution of the secret service and prevent the destruction of its records. While the Stasi’s days were now numbered, the debate over how their records would be managed had only just begun. When, during negotiations on German Reunification, fears arose that the files might remain closed, another occupation was held. In September 1990, civil rights activists forced their way into the administrative wing of the Stasi archives and began a hunger strike. Their goal was to secure access to the files for those affected – and they succeeded. Adopted in December 1991, the Stasi Records Act grants citizens the right to view files containing information about them, and regulates the political, historical and legal investigation of the activities of the secret police. Covering four million East German and two million West German citizens, the Stasi’s records provide a unique opportunity to look behind the scenes of the system, albeit only in hindsight.
An extensive programme of events took place in Building 22 of the former Stasi headquarters during the festival week. Some events will also took place in the bunker. Large-format 3D video projections were displayed on sections of the facade throughout the festival week. In addition, an open-air exhibition could be accessed at this site on all seven days of the festival week.
Stasi Headquarters – Campus for Democracy
Ruschestraße 103, 10365 Berlin
Tram: 16, 21, M3, M13
Only the grounds of this venue are barrier-free! A barrier-free bathroom is available. Barrier-free access to the events in Building 22 and the bunker is not available.