Guided tour, topic 1: the main remand prison of Soviet military counterintelligence (duration: approx. 60 minutes)
More than seven decades after it was converted into the main remand prison for the Soviet secret service, the building in Leistikowstraße is still preserved in an authentic state that conveys its oppressive character. On their tour of the permanent exhibition, visitors learn about the moving history of the building, which is brought alive by poignant exhibits and historical photographs. At the heart of the tour are the biographies of German and Soviet former prisoners. Audio and multimedia kiosks provide an opportunity to learn more about the arrests, the interrogations and everyday prison life from those who experienced them. Last but not least, the bleak basement cells, which still bear a lot of graffiti left by prisoners, testify to the sense of desperation that must have been felt by people stripped of all their rights.
Guided tour, topic 2: the Soviet secret service base "Military Town No. 7" (duration: approx. 60 minutes)
Architectural relics and the traces left on them still bear witness today that part of an upmarket suburb of Potsdam was used as a secret service base by Soviet military counterintelligence for nearly fifty years. This tour of the former high-security area aims to reveal these hidden testimonies, which offer surprising insights into the history and structures of the almost self-sufficient "military town".
A scale model of the neighbourhood, which stands in the inner courtyard of the former remand prison, sets the secret service base in its spatial and historical contexts, in particular its proximity to key landmarks such as Cecilienhof Palace and the Berlin Wall. It soon becomes clear why this was one of the hotspots of the Cold War.
The route continues past the former central office of the counterintelligence service, the hall where the Soviet military tribunals convened, and the former residence of the intelligence chief. Historical photos of these former villas make clear how extensively they have been altered. The remains of a large memorial complex and Russian-language graffiti carved into trees provide a glimpse into the daily life of the secret service personnel and soldiers who were stationed here.