The Stasi headquarters, Source: Prof.Quatermass on Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0

Berlin to transform former Stasi headquarters into a Campus for Democracy

Berlin to transform former Stasi headquarters into a Campus for Democracy

The building carries a lot of weight from Germany’s recent history, as the unification between the GDR and FRG happened only 33 years ago

Today, Berlin authorities announced plans to turn the former Stasi headquarters into a Campus for Democracy. The site was home to the archive and headquarters of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) Ministry of State Security, which also functioned as a secret police, probing up the totalitarian regime in East Germany.

East Germany toppled its dictatorship in 1990, along with many countries in the former Eastern Bloc, before eventually reuniting with the then-Federal Republic of Germany into the Germany we know today. Despite the fact that this revolution was considered peaceful, there are still many divisions within the country and many wounds that are yet to heal.

This is why local authorities in Berlin, as well as the German Federal Government, have mandated the creation of the centre in this specific location – using the complex and loaded history of the former Stasi building to its advantage, to promote the freedoms and benefits of Democracy.

Building upon the past

The idea to transform the former Stasi headquarters into a centre for democracy dates to 2012 and the person of Roland Jahn. He was the last head of the Stasi records, as the position was dissolved in 2021, when they were integrated into the Federal Archive.

The idea for the transformation was picked up in by national politicians and was part of the CDU – SPD coalition agreement in 2013.  The building also houses the Stasi Museum, the Victims' Associations of Communist Tyranny and, since 2016, the site has been the home of a permanent open-air exhibition.

In 2022, the Campus for Democracy came under the jurisdiction of Berlin’s local authorities. According to a press statement, Urban Development Senator Geisel explained that the project would be of international importance. She continued: “My aim is to create a place of remembrance, research and public discussion that focuses on future issues and has international appeal.”



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