Tag Archives: Topography of Terror

Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

The Berlin Wall Monument at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror)

Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) consists of three main elements: the Indoor Exhibition; the Outdoor Exhibition (referred to in the site’s literature as the Exhibition Trench); and Berlin Wall Monument, a remaining section of the wall.

The ground on which the exhibitions stand was the site of the Gestapo, SS and Reich Security headquarters on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse (now Niederkirchnerstrasse).

Berlin Wall Monument

Approaching the exhibition it is impossible to miss the section of the Berlin wall that is still standing here.  Souvenir hunters and the effects of time have ravaged the wall and the reinforcement rods are visible through the holes they have created.  From inside the exhibition grounds you can look out at what was the Ministry of Aviation (now the Ministry of Finance), an imposing Nazi-era building, though the chinks in the wall.

The Ministry of Finance (previously The Aviation Ministry) seen through a chink in the Berln Wall

Seeing the wall like this gives a sense (though only a vague one) of how the structure divided the city.

The Outdoor Exhibition or Exhibition Trench

Running below the wall, and covered by a steel and glass roof, a series of displays tells the story of events between 1933 and 1945 and their effects.

The Exhibition Trench at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

The displays here cover political events such as the Nazi party’s rise to power, Hitler’s installation as Führer and his plans for Welthauptstadt Germania, which you can read more about in my Hitler’s Folly – Schwerbelastungskörper post.

Visitors take in the outdoor exhibition (Exhibition Trench) at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin A display about Hitler and Speer's plans for Welthaupstadt Germania at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

The exhibition also deals with the way these events affected the people: the persecution of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and other ‘undesirables’; life in a city devastated by war; and the war crime trials, to name a few.

A visitor contemplates the outdoor exhibition (Exhibition Trench) at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

Indoor Exhibition

The indoor exhibition focuses on the organisation and operations of the SS and Police, the power they held over the people and the abuses they committed.

The Indoor Exhibition at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin A display of index cards in the indoor exhibition shows the crimes of Police and SS and their consequences at Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) in Berlin

Admission to all of the exhibitions is free but for more details and opening times check out the Topographie des Terrors website.