About the Topography Museum of TerrorYou are standing at the Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors), to understand the significance, you first have to know what the Gestapo was. Gestapo is the abbreviation for the "Secret State Police" of Nazi Germany, and in fact was one of the central bodies for the enforcement of Nazi totalitarianism. This name aroused great fear among the citizens of Germany and to this day it symbolizes the entire Nazi regime.
The museum where you are now standing is built just above the Gestapo headquarters that was destroyed in the war. Fair warning, the whole place and the exhibits will easily give you a shivers, when they display and show about the place where so many people were tortured and murdered.
In the museum you can see exhibits about the suppression and murder of the Nazi regime through pictures and texts in German and English. You can learn here about the actions of the Gestapo and SS soldiers during the war, the imprisonment and murder of opponents of the regime and the persecuted communities, and the transformation of Germany into a tough state that suppresses all civil resistance.
Museum HistoryBetween the years 1933 and 1945, the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS lay here, but in 1945 it was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombings. The parts that were not destroyed in the bombings were destroyed immediately after the war ended.
In 1992, a special fund was started aimed at maintaining the site, architects from all over the world were invited to participate in the competition to establish a museum teaching about the terrible history that took place here, the Nazi extermination.
The the competition was won by the Swiss architect Peter Zumatur, who for five years was unable to progress with the construction work. All the while the exhibite was displayed without a building, in the open air, until Zumatur’s patience ran out and the architect was fired.
In 2007 a plan by the Berlin architect Ursula Wilms was accepted for the current museum. The new plan integrated the detention rooms and the torture basements that remained, thus creating a tangible connection between the museum and the chilling landscape of the complex, which it documents.