I was able to spend 2 awesome weeks in Berlin this summer. We learned about “East Germany” when I was in school, but never really gave it much thought. It was just another Soviet puppet country to us. Being a little older, the history is much more interesting.
I found an interview with a British teacher that took a position teaching in the GDR. It’s a good read.
As I was going through the GDR museum I kept telling myself it was like Bizarro World.
The Stassi museum was a little creepy, but provided an incredible amount of information about the history of the organization, the leadership and activities. The museum is actually housed in the former headquarters main office.
This is a picture of the desk of the former head of the Stassi, Erich Mielke. His office, on-site quarters and official meeting rooms have been immaculately preserved.
The biggest disappointment is at the end of the museum. They show that the leadership knew the end was near and started shredding incriminating evidence. They were able to shred large amounts of records before the citizens discovered what was happening and blocked access to many of the buildings.
If you are in Berlin be sure to build in time to tour the museums.