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Topography of Terror, Berlin

4.5
#2 of 172 in Museums in Berlin
Often chilling and always thought-provoking, Topography of Terror is an indoor and outdoor museum documenting the terror tactics used by the Nazi regime. You'll receive sobering insights into the Gestapo and SS activities that kept the city in a permanent state of terror and repression between 1933 and 1945. If visiting between spring and fall, don't miss the most striking of the site's features: an excavated cellar directly under the remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall. Many political prisoners were tortured and executed here (confirm on the website that the exhibit is open during your visit). You can visit three permanent exhibits about the Nazi years at the site's prize-winning documentation center, which opened in 2010. Explore the site on your own, or join a guided walking tour to learn about the Nazi policies at home and the Cold War tensions felt around the world. Make Topography of Terror a part of your Berlin vacation plans using our Berlin trip builder app .
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Topography of Terror Reviews
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13,620 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • I took my 17 and 15 year old daughters here, and it was a good decision. The facts are presented objectively and the horror is not in your face but easily appreciated here.  more »
  • This is right next to the museum - easy to get to from the U-Bahn. In both German & English - you will only need about 30 min to read all the plaques, but worthwhile....  more »
  • Starting from the west end, this is a thought-provoking and humbling trip through the history of the site, Berlin and Germany in general.  more »
Google
  • Visiting Germany and especially Berlin without thinking about its history doesn't make sense for me. It is not about Germany in the end, but about us as humans. This exhibition tells about that. It is a map somehow, that shows the steps to totalitarianism, ignorance and crime. It is a lesson that shows how these things are always close to us. That does just happened in history. It stills happen, metamorphosed in many variations in different countries. Go there with time, read everything and think about yourself, your country, your political leaders. Then the objective of this exhibition will be achieved.
  • This is an incredibly engrossing presentation. I did not anticipate spending two hours here! It is a lot of reading (like all of it). With a few interactive bits. It is an in-depth exhibit of the various secret police agencies and how they came to be so powerful, as well as, what they did with that power. The organization and presentation of information is great. It describes the systematic way German officials in WWII murdered millions of people. Including the laws they passed to allow such actions and how they influenced the general publics views/awareness.
  • Facts: The exhibit inside is just photos and text. You walk around reading and looking at pictures in chronological order from around 1930 to 1955. Everything is in German and English, but the audio guide is German only. It is interesting and, of course, horrifying. I spent probably two hours here, reading everything. There are many details, from the political to the personal level, and you get a good overview of exactly how it unfolded. The end is almost like the ending of a movie: some die, some escape, some kill themselves, some get away with it. I recommend visiting, but feel a bit let down that a whole square block has been dedicated to information you could get on your computer screen -- and with audio and video. Still, I'm glad the area has been preserved, along with a section of the wall, and perhaps you will find value in actually being where the SS headquarters were. (I was quite thankful they chose not to showcase photos of the concentration camps and their victims.)
  • Small museum inside the former SS headquarters area. You can also see parts of the berlin wall next to the exhibition. Shows the history and the progress of terror during the holocaust years and the years before. Wasn't that impressed with the content, but if you have spare time it's worth a visit. Half an hour to an hour max. They also offer Audio guides at the front desk.
  • Very in-depth historical information on the rise of German power and its effects on the region and its people. Some interactive and multimedia activities. Free entrance. Close to a length of the Berlin wall. Well worth a visit.

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Where to stay in Berlin

The Kreuzberg neighborhood near the Oberbaumbrüke bridge is central and full of Berlin icons: street art, a piece of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery, and a proliferation of cafes. Friedrichshain is another option with a hip vibe due to the students who congregate at its cafes and galleries. Consider Mitte as a historic home base. Mitte is the area where almost all of Berlin's well-known buildings are located, and it is within walking distance of Alexanderplatz. For a peaceful residential area, try Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf where the streets are lined with boutiques and quiet coffee shops.
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