Topography of Terror, Berlin

One of the places that was a “must see” for me was the Topography of Terror Museum. It is located in the former SS Reich Main Security Office, the headquarters of the Sicherheitspolizei, SD, Einsatzgruppen, and Gestapo. There is also a portion of the Berlin wall adjacent to the museum; it is the longest remaining segment.

The museum opens at 10 am. Since we arrived early we headed to Checkpoint Charlie, which is only a few blocks away from the museum. We took a few photos by the guardhouse. There are costumed guards there that want 4 Euros for you to have your picture taken with them. Both Clayton and I had passed through Checkpoint Charlie in 1974 (he was in the army; I was part of a tour group) so it was a nostalgic visit for us.

We arrived at the museum just as it opened. Along the Berlin wall is a display of photos and informational plaques tracing the rise to power of the Nazis from 1932-1933. The information reinforced what we had learned during our tour of Sachsenhausen. It helped us more deeply understand how the Nazis controlled the brainwashed the country and how anyone that disagreed or stood up to the party was dealt with.

The interior of the museum is essentially a large square room filled with displays that trace the history of repression under the Nazis. Of course, much of the displays deal with the timeline of the Jewish population but there is also considerable information on the other groups that were persecuted.

This museum is well worth a visit. Admission is free, and it there is an overwhelming amount of information to absorb in a couple of hours.