“A monument of surveillance”- this is how the Stasi Records Archive could be described. It stores 111 kilometers of documents that hold a massive amount of personal data about citizens, collected by the Ministry for State Security, in short Stasi, the secret police of the GDR. Today, the Stasi Records Archive keeps these documents in Berlin-Lichtenberg and 12 regional branches.
The new permanent exhibition “Access to Secrecy” wants to make this special archive and its significance for the present more tangible.
Situated at the historic site the Stasi Records Archive manages the huge legacy of a repressive regime. As a result of the Peaceful Revolution it represents since 1990 the transparent way of dealing with this difficult inheritance of the Stasi. In the European Cultural Heritage Year, the new permanent exhibition about the archive wants to contribute to the development of democratic values through the critical examination of the SED dictatorship. It particularly focuses on the logic and methods of mass collection and storage of personal data of citizens.
Why and how did the secret police of the GDR collect, store and process all this information? Why do the files still exist today? What do they contain and what can they show? How are they kept and how does society use them?
The new permanent exhibition “Access to Secrecy” at the historical site of the Ministry for State Security provides answers. Visitors can get to know the archive via original objects, historical photos and film clips as well as interactive media stations.
A highlight of the exhibition is a monumental walk-in-file documenting individual stories. They reveal the impact that surveillance could have on those affected. Visitors also have the opportunity to engage in selected Stasi documents, to learn more about the methods and work of the Stasi.
With “Access to Secrecy” there is for the first time ever now a permanent way to get to know the Stasi Records Archive, independently from guided tours through the original archive.
On four floors, the exhibition explains the origin of the documents and the work of the Stasi officers, but also highlights the challenges facing the archive today.
The exhibition is located in the historic “Haus 7” on the grounds of the “Stasi-Headquarters. Campus for Democracy”. It opens on June 16, 2018 at 12 p.m.
Monday to Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday, Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm
Fon: 030 2324-6699
Guided Tours: firstname.lastname@example.org