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Exhibition in Berlin : insanity, Paranoia, psycho-terror

visitors come to in a darkened room in the old Stasi-prison. You hear a voice that speaks through hidden speakers. Then the lights go out, and lo and behold: you are on a huge map, everywhere, small points are illuminated, and a strip of light stretches across the floor and on the walls, such as a crack, which divides the city: It is the Berlin wall.

the new exhibition "Stasi in Berlin" in the Berlin-hohenschönhausen memorial site begins. Guests get an iPad in the Hand pressed, and allowed to run about the map of Berlin. She is also depicted on the Tablet – only little green dots that invite you to Click on the device. The map is an Aerial photograph of Berlin is today, but the story it tells spans a time frame of approximately 40 years.

stories, the the 40 years of GDR dictatorship represent

"We have sought out stories, the dictatorship represent the 40 years of the GDR, and the show has changed, how the Work of the Stasi in Berlin in the course of time," explains Michael Schäblitz, one of the conductors of the exhibition. Approximately 100 of such stories, the map told.

An example from Alexanderplatz Schäblitz and his colleague Andreas Engwert, the curator of the exhibition: the show by clicking on the place a Video in the documents of the Ministry for state security, which shows how the Stasi, the site has monitored. Three cameras were installed to monitor who is meeting with whom and when.

The recordings of a group of the opposition, which regularly comes together on the pitch to Stasi show-agents are going to arrest you. Visitors to the exhibition to see how the opponents of the regime arrested, and in the light of day on the Alex. That won't attract attention? But.

The Stasi tried to cover up the action, and claims, here is a rotation. People do not buy the lie that a man tells to a hastily summoned journalists: "I just want freedom." He, too, is arrested in a Bus with the other loaded, and after Hohenschönhausen.

On the Videos, viewers can see how the occupant against the Busscheibe knock, like a woman desperately needs someone. Then the movie's over, they will be back in the old prison building and looks at the map.

96 stories that show the everyday life in Berlin under constant Surveillance

There are such stories, the exhibition tells stories that show the everyday life in Berlin under the constant Surveillance. Since 2016 Engwert, and Schäbitz work on the project. You have hundreds of files to be searched, stories read, collected reports, and then your collection to 96. The 96 stories, to see where visitors to the small Videos.

there are the points, which should only show that the Stasi were active, here's a conspiratorial apartment was, for example. The apartments were used by the Stasi for spying on the citizens. There are in order to discover the 4000 on the iPad – a lot more than that you all look at could you. "It just goes to illustrate the extent of," explains Schäbitz. In East Berlin there was the end of the 80s 3200 conspiratorial apartments. "This shows the growing Paranoia, the madness behind it," says Engwert.

The Stasi was not just being paranoid – Paranoia is a large part of their actions could be justified. "In the course of time they changed their methods. In the 50s and 60s, they were brutal: kidnappings, murders, attacks. Then, in the 70s, begins the psycho-terror,“ says the curator.

lies and rumors to make people psychologically ready

the fear of The Stasi is growing, she tries to bring the population under control by intimidating and threatening. Lies and rumors get into circulation. "The goal was to exhaust the people with the methods simple so that you do not give up, because you can mentally", explains Engwert.

This conversion can be observed in the exhibition: There is the story of a critic Heinz Brandt, who was, in 1961, working in West Berlin and from there to hohenschönhausen was kidnapped. The Hausen track on the Tablet: Of Steglitz, where he was stunned in the house of an alleged girlfriend, then over the border to high beautiful. There, Heinz Brandt has spent a year in solitary confinement.

The Berlin-hohenschönhausen memorial site.Photo: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Then the story of Kalle Winkler, who worked in the youth years for the Stasi, as a Teenager, and the son of staunch Communists, he was a easily win for this. In the Video in the exhibition, visitors hear his Testimony: in The beginning the officials of the Ministry for state security, such as friends for him, you listened to him, and helped him. You influence him subtly until he writes one day, a song that the Stasi does not work.

It is the lyrics of a young man who sings about freedom and the not a hundred percent under the control of the Stasi. Viewers will see how Kalle Winkler is arrested. In the Video of him looking at the images at his arrest in the face of a youth with his whole life. He, too, was imprisoned in hohenschönhausen.

An hour's time, the stories and the map

How interested navigate through the exhibition, view, is, of course, up to you. Every hour on the hour to be left to the 20 visitors in the room, then you have one hour to view the map to hear the stories and see perhaps just once, where you live, and what was going on in your neighborhood. Perhaps a conspiratorial apartment, was there? Or an exciting – and often tragic – history of only a few houses played? After an hour the visitors left the room again. You have to go out in the yard of the former prison, where now no prisoners, but tourists go around the guard occupied towers for years.

More about

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Andreas Austilat

The exhibition "Stasi in Berlin: Surveillance and Repression in East and West," runs until 31. March 2020. The entrance is free, opening Hours are daily from 9 to 18 o'clock.

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