Topography of Terror / Berlin Museums
The headquarters of the Nazi terror apparatus, destroyed during the war, was once located on this site. The feared Secret State Police, better known as the Gestapo, were housed here starting in 1933. In 1939, they were joined by the headquarters of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. The SS high command and the Security Service of the SS had already taken up residence in the neighbourhood in 1934. A site tour, divided into 15 stations, now provides information about the history of the area. In the new exhibition building from 2010 you can see, for example, a permanent exhibition on the crimes and modes of operation of the the SS headquarters and police during the Third Reich. Entrance is free of charge.
Tränenpalast - Palace of Tears
The terminal building for departing from East to West Berlin was built at Friedrichstraße railway station in 1962. Because citizens of East Germany were not allowed to travel freely, emotional and painful scenes often took place in front of the building between relatives and friends; they knew, once they said goodbye, they would not see each other for a long time. This earned the building the melancholy nickname Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears). In 2011, this authentic historical location finally became a museum and has since housed the permanent exhibition “BorderExperiences – Everyday Life in Divided Germany.” Entrance is free of charge.
German Resistance Memorial Center / Berlin Museums
This exhibition shows the various forms of German resistance towards National Socialism in 26 topic areas. It touches not only on the coups attempted by the military which took place between 1938 to 1944, but also on young people's opposition movements like the Edelweiss Pirates. To dare resistance during the Third Reich meant belonging to an ever shrinking section of the population and accepting the fairly good chance you would die for your convictions. The organisers of the exhibition luckily wear no ideological blinders; they display side by side military, Christian and communist resistance as well as resistance for moral reasons within a small area. Entrance is free of charge.