Historic Places in Berlin and Brandenburg featuring Guided Tours, Activities and (Learning) Materials in English

Visit historic sites, museums and memorials in Berlin and Brandenburg on the history of the SED dictatorship and the Berlin Wall.


The Berlin Wall Memorial, Mitte/Wedding

The Berlin Wall Memorial is the central memorial site of German division, located in the middle of the capital. Situated at the historic site on Bernauer Strasse, it extends along 1.4 kilometres of the former border strip. The memorial contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds behind it and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s. The events that took place here together with the preserved historical remnants and traces of border obstacles on display help convey the history of Germany's division to visitors.

On the border strip that had been located in East Berlin, an open-air exhibition uses the example of Bernauer Strasse to explain the history of division more generally. The memorial consists of the Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny as well as the Window of Remembrance. The grounds also include the Chapel of Reconciliation and the excavated foundations of a former apartment building whose façade functioned as the border wall until the early 1980s.

English-language guided tours and workshops, in which schoolchildren explore the former border strip on Bernauer Strasse using cameras, are also available.

Berlin Wall Memorial
Bernauer Straße 111
13355 Berlin
phone: 030-4 64 10 30

Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum, Tempelhof-Schöneberg

Between 1949 and 1990, about four million people left East Germany (the GDR) for West Germany (the FRG), with 1.35 million of them passing through the Marienfelde Refugee Center in Berlin. The Marienfelde Refugee Center, which was opened in 1953, supplied refugees with housing and provisions, and was also where refugees completed the official procedure to receive residency permits for West Germany and West Berlin.

Located on the historic site of the Refugee Center, the museum preserves and memorialises the causes, process, and consequences of inner-German flight, exploring not only flight from the GDR itself, but the formal process of emigration and subsequent integration of refugees into West German society as well. Marienfelde invites you to discover more about this history through its permanent and temporary exhibitions, diverse educational programmes, special events, and research projects.

English-language guided tours are available, as well as tours for children ages 9 - 13 and small-group workshops (including tours) for high school students.

Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum
Marienfelder Allee 66/80
12277 Berlin
phone: 030-75 00 84 00

Stasi Museum Berlin, Lichtenberg

The imposing building at Normannenstraße 22 began housing the Ministry of State Security in 1961. The centrepiece of this memorial site's exhibition are the office and private study of Erich Mielke, the last Minister of State Security, preserved in their original state. Other parts of the exhibition focus on specific aspects of the political system in the GDR, testify to the Stasi's activities and present an overview of resistance and opposition in the GDR. Guided tours of the exhibition are available upon prior request. In addition, presentations, discussions with contemporary witnesses and workshops are hosted as well. Guided tours in English are available on weekends and Mondays.

Stasimuseum Berlin
Ruschestraße 103, Haus 1
10365 Berlin
phone: 030-5 53 68 54

DDR Museum, Mitte

The DDR Museum is Berlin's interactive museum and one of the most-visited attractions in the German capital. History becomes palpable as the visitor is given a first-hand introduction to life in the first socialist state on German soil. See, touch, feel and experience the actual conditions of a long-defunct system. Unique artefacts, futuristic technology and a prize-winning design transform a museum visit into a great journey back in time. Guided tours, workshops, presentations and historical tours of the city are all available in English as well.

DDR Museum
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1
10178 Berlin
phone: 030-847 123 73-0

Tränenpalast at the Berlin Friedrichstraße station, Mitte

The foundation Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland presents the permanent exhibition 'GrenzErfahrungen. Alltag der deutschen Teilung' at the historic site of the Tränenpalast ('Palace of Tears'). Featuring biographical narratives, original objects and interviews with contemporary witnesses, it illustrates what life was like in the face of partition and the new border. Moreover, it includes the most important milestones throughout the process of German reunification. English-language guided tours are available.

Ausstellung im Tränenpalast
Reichstagufer 17
10117 Berlin
phone: 030-46 77 77 9-11

Museum in the Kulturbrauerei, Prenzlauer Berg

The museum's permanent exhibition located in the former Schultheiss brewery and operated by the foundation Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland highlights the deep and manifold tensions between political aspirations and lived reality in the GDR. Interactive elements and media stations allow visitors to immerse themselves into countless original objects and documents, biographical accounts, video and sound files. Guided tours are also available in English.

Museum in der Kulturbrauerei
Knaackstraße 97
Gebäude 6.2
10435 Berlin
phone: 030-46 77 77 9-11

Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, Lichtenberg

Many people who resisted the Communist dictatorship were incarcerated at the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Stasi prison between the 1950s and October 1990. The memorial offers guided tours of the former prison presented in English by former inmates, as well as guided tours with a thematic focus.


Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen
Genslerstr. 66
13055 Berlin
phone:030-98 60 82 30

Wall Museum – Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

At the Checkpoint Charlie museum, visitors can view original objects used for escaping under and through the Berlin Wall, and read about the refugees who risked their lives for freedom. Those who died while escaping are also commemorated in an attempt to keep their memory alive. In addition to the history of the Wall, visitors can trace the trajectory of the civil rights movements and learn more about countries in today's world where the struggle for human rights continues. Other exhibitions cover the history of NATO and its interventions in various international conflicts since its founding, or introduce Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat and philanthropist who rescued 100,000 Jews from certain death during World War II. Guided tours are available in English.

Wall Museum - Checkpoint Charlie
Friedrichstraße 43-45
10969 Berlin
phone: 030-2 53 72 50

BlackBox Cold War – Exhibition at Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

The exhibition 'BlackBox Cold War', located on the historic site where Russian and American tanks faced off in 1961, situates the partition of Germany in the wider context of the international systems rivalry between East and West. A large number of media stations, a small cinema, historical materials and original documents link the Berlin Wall to other world-historical events such as the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, expanding perspectives on the global dimension of the confrontation between East and West. Guided tours are available in English.

BlackBox Kalter Krieg
Friedrichstraße 47/Corner of Zimmerstraße
10117 Berlin
Berliner Forum für Geschichte und Gegenwart e.V.
Wartburgstraße 42
10823 Berlin
phone:030-21 63 571

German Spy Museum Berlin

The German Spy Museum Berlin provides a unique insight into the gloom of espionage right where the Wall once divided the city. Visitors are welcome to use the most recent multimedia-based technology to detect the variety of bizarre and sneaky methods applied by agents and secret services. An exciting time travel from spying in ancient biblical history to the present and future in the heart of the capital of spies. Workshops for school classes and guided tours are also available in English.

German Spy Museum
Leipziger Platz 9
10117 Berlin
phone: 030 39 8200 450

Traces of the Border at the Flutgraben canal, Treptow

The only building right next to the Wall to survive its construction and expansion can be found on the Flutgraben canal in the Treptow district of Berlin. Today an artist studio space, the building belonged to a state-owned enterprise in the GDR era. From 13 August 1961 it was barricaded and cautiously guarded. Nevertheless, many people managed to escape to the nearby West Berlin district of Kreuzberg from here. The guided tour explores this most unusual part of the Berlin Wall. Visitors are shown barricaded windows, border soldiers' inscriptions and the remains of signal installations, and are taken up to the 20-meter high roof overlooking the Spree and Osthafen which served as a sentry point for GDR border troops until 1989. The guided tour in English offers a site-specific perspective on the history of the Berlin Wall.

Grenzspuren am Flutgraben, Treptow
Glogauer Straße 21
10999 Berlin
phone:030-69 53 10 88



Center of Human Rights Cottbus – Memorial Prison of Cottbus

The Center of Human Rights at its historic location in Cottbus portrays personalities who courageously and with democratic conviction were ground up by the political legal systems of the Nazi regime and the SED dictatorship. The politically-motivated injustice visited upon inmates takes centre stage. In a display of volunteer civic engagement, the 150 members of the society and other supporters restored 'Prison Building 1' in the former East German detention centre.

Center of Human Rights Cottbus - Memorial Prison of Cottbus
Bautzener Straße 140, 03050 Cottbus
phone: 0355-2901330

Memorial Leistikowstraße, Potsdam

Launched in April 2012, the permanent exhibition 'Soviet Remand Prison Leistikowstraße Potsdam' informs visitors about the history of the detention centre and the fate of its inmates.

Gedenk- und Begegnungsstätte Leistikowstraße Potsdam in der Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten
Leistikowstraße 1
14469 Potsdam
phone: 0331-2011540

Memorial Foundation Lindenstraße

Located in the heart of Potsdam's city centre, the Lindenstraße Memorial symbolises both political persecution and violence under Germany's various 20th century dictatorships, as well as democracy's ultimate triumph during the Peaceful Revolution of 1989/90.

A multimedia exhibition in the former court and prison building complex leads visitors through the different historical periods. At the heart of the exhibition are the people incarcerated and convicted of political crimes under the Nazi regime, the period of Soviet occupation and the SED dictatorship - and those who helped bring down the SED dictatorship in 1989/90. The memorial welcomes visitors as an open space for learning about history, both individually or in the context of guided tours, contemporary witness interviews, workshops or public events. English-language guided tours are also available.

Stiftung Gedenkstätte Lindenstraße
Lindenstraße 54
14467 Potsdam
phone: 0331 289 6136

Documentation Centre of Everyday Culture of the GDR, Eisenhüttenstadt

The documentation centre's permanent exhibition 'Alltag: DDR' ('Everyday life in the GDR') introduces visitors to all kinds of facets of everyday life in the GDR, including family and work life, and depicts the areas of consumption, education and possibilities of communication in a round tour through ten different rooms. Additional rooms illustrate the system of political power in the GDR, explain what it meant to lead a socialist way of life, and depict the oppositional milieus of the 1980s.

The exhibition contains a large number of objects, photographs and documents, videos and interviews, all of which are viewable at media stations. Background information is available for each of the exhibition's themes via integrated computer databases. Audio guides featuring background stories of some select objects round off the exhibition.

For school students, a 'chronology in objects' captures the GDR's temporal dimension and embeds it in historical context between 1945 and 1990. The centre also features a conference room and opportunities for advanced teacher training.

Documentation Centre of Everyday Culture of the GDR
Erich-Weinert-Allee 3
15890 Eisenhüttenstadt
phone: 03364-41 73 55

Villa Schöningen

The Villa Schöningen houses a permanent exhibition on the history of the house itself and of Glienicke Bridge. The exhibition focuses on the period between 1961-89 when the inner-German border ran just outside its front door and Glienicke Bridge was frequently used for prisoner swaps between East and West. Two items have been added to the exhibition since 2013: 'Life in the Death Strip' ('Das Leben im Todesstreifen') and 'The Lindenberg File / Udo in the GDR' ('Die Akte Lindenberg / Udo und die DDR'). The exhibition is open from Thursday through Sunday, and guided tours may be booked for any of these days. A special feature is the guided tour presented by former CIA agent Eberhard Fätkenheuer.

Villa Schöningen
Kunst & Geschichte an der Glienicker Brücke
Berliner Straße 86
14467 Potsdam
phone: 0331-2001741

Finanzierung von Zeitzeugengesprächen

Das Koordinierende Zeitzeugenbüro des Bundes bietet Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten für Veranstaltungen mit Zeitzeugen. Die Mitarbeiter sind zu erreichen unter Tel. 030 / 98 60 82 414/447 oder Email: info(at)ddr-zeitzeuge.de.

Informationsblatt Finanzierung

Tipps für das Gespräch für Zeitzeugen und für Lehrende

Das Koordinierende Zeitzeugenbüro ist eine gemeinsame Servicestelle der Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, der Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung und der Stiftung Berliner Mauer. Gefördert von der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.

Ein Leitfaden für Lehrkräfte

Der Leitfaden liefert Lehrkräften und Bildungsmultiplikatoren praktische Hinweise zur Organisation und Durchführung, zur Moderation sowie zur Vor- und Nachbereitung von Zeitzeugengesprächen. Er informiert über Gepräche am historischen Ort und bietet weiterführende Literatur.

Sie können den Leitfaden hier kostenfrei bestellen oder als PDF herunterladen.

Contemporary Witnesses of Divided Germany

The brochure provides information on the portal www.zeitzeugenbuero.de, presents the educational offers of the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany as well as memorial sites and museums in Berlin and Brandenburg with English-language offers. 

You can download and order the broschure for free in our publication shop.

DDR-Geschichte vermitteln

Diese Website sammelt Materialien und Medien, Handreichungen und Praxisreflexionen zur historisch-politischen Bildung über das Thema „DDR-Geschichte“. Verflechtungen mit der westdeutschen Geschichte und europäischen Kontexten sind berücksichtigt. Ein Schwerpunkt liegt hier auf kostenlos verfügbaren Online-Ressourcen. Ein Projekt des Bildungswerks der Humanistischen Union NRW

Zeitzeugenerinnerungen und -interviews

Im Archiv der Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung finden sich zahlreiche Zeitzeugen- erinnerungen, die als lebensgeschichtliche Interviews vor allem Auskunft über das Wirken in Opposition und Widerstand, aber auch über Haftzeiten und Lageralltag geben.

Eine Übersicht über weitere Archiv- und Erinnerungsorte, die Zeitzeugeninterviews aufbewahren, finden Sie hier [mehr]

Zeitzeugengespräche führen

Bleib nicht stumm ...

Leitfaden für Zeitzeugengespräche

Der Leitfaden für Zeitzeugengespräche, veröffentlicht vom Grenzlandmuseum Eichsfeld, gibt anschauliche Tipps und Anleitungen zur Vorbereitung, Durchführung und Nachbereitung von Interviews mit Zeitzeugen.

Die Broschüre ist für Schüler didaktisch aufbereitet und bietet auch für Lehrer und andere Akteure der historisch-politischen Bildungsarbeit zahlreiche methodische Anregungen und Informationen.

>>Hier<< gibt es den Leitfaden (PDF zum Download)

Gefördert wurde der Leitfaden mit den Mitteln der Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung.