Even on the warmest summers day you can still feel the chill inside Berlin's most notorious prison, Hohenschoenhausen prison. This is the prison which was so famously used during the cold war right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall
. Hohenschoenhausen detained mostly rebelling political figures or those attempting to flee Germany or escape to the Westside. The prison and grounds have not been reconstructed over the years so the prison still serves as a grim reminder of Germany's horrific past. On visiting the prison you will see the different gun towers set around the perimeter and the barbed wire which ensnared the innocent citizens. You really get a feeling of entrapment on entering the prison as it is so well maintained it still feels like it could be in use.
The best part of visiting Hohenschoenhausen prison is that the tours are led by former inmates! Most of the tour guides are former Berlin politicians and those who simply attempted to flee. One well known politician who is more than happy to retell her harsh story is Vera Lengsfeld! On the tour you see the damp, dingy, windowless cells as well as the whopping 120 interrogation rooms. There is also an underground section of the prison which remains almost completely untouched. You can't help but feel the lifeless aura it still holds on to. The guides themselves are very knowledgeable and offer a fascinating insight in to the everyday workings of the prison. You are told of how each prisoner had their own designated interrogator and could speak to no one else but this person. Total isolation seemed to be key factor in the dreary entrapment. As horrific as the prisons history is, the tour is a fantastic experience with great insight and knowledge gained from the guides. An absolute must see for anyone interested in Germany's history.
Some other Berlin attractions steeped in German history are Sanssouci Castle
, Brandenburg Gate
and Berlin Cathedral
Nearby central quality hotels include Hilton Berlin
, ARCOTEL John F
and Best Western Hotel am Spittelmarkt