Gedenkstätte Zuchthaus Brandenburg-Görden - memorial

Memorials of recent German history
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This prison was planned in the 1920s for the ‘modern penitentiary system’ and was completed in 1931. Between 1933 and 1945, the prison in Brandenburg-Görden was the scene of Nazi judicial crimes including excessive sentences, inhumane conditions of imprisonment, over-application of the death sentence, and racially motivated extermination programmes. During the Nazi period the capacity of the prison was increased from an initial 1800 to approximately 3000 inmates by the end of the war. Up to 60 per cent of the prisoners from all over Europe were so-called political prisoners, sentenced for ‘plotting high treason’, ‘subversion of national defence’ and ‘military insubordination’. Political and criminal prisoners were kept together and, in an execution site set up in 1940, more than 2000 death sentences were carried out.
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  • Gedenkstätte Zuchthaus Brandenburg-Görden, Foto: Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Der 1975 gestaltete Gedenkraum, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg
  • Dauerausstellung, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a. d. H. /Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Gedenkstätte am ehemaligen Hinrichtungsort 1999, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg / Kiessling
  • Dauerausstellung, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a. d. H. /Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Sicherung der Strafvollzugsanstalt Brandenburg - Görden, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg
  • Dauerausstellung, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a. d. H. /Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Ehemaliger Hinrichtungsort der NS-Justiz, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a.d.H/ Hagen Immel
  • Zuchthaus Brandenburg - Görden 1937, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg
After 1945 the prison was first used by the Soviet military authorities and the Soviet secret service, the NKVD, as a repatriation camp, and was also used for those suspecting of collaborating with the enemy. In 1950 the East German Ministry of the Interior took over the Brandenburg facility and detained convicted criminals, Nazi perpetrators and war criminals along with political opponents, participants in the uprising of June 17, 1953, failed ‘fugitives’ and prospective emigrants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals. Brandenburg Prison was one of East Germany’s largest penitentiary institutions.

A memorial was built inside the prison in 1949 in honour of those executed during the Nazi regime. In 1990, the Justice Ministry of the State of Brandenburg took over the prison and has run it as a correctional facility since then. The memorial rooms and the partially reconstructed execution site are still located inside the facility and can be visited by arrangement. A freely accessible permanent exhibition on the history of the prison during the Nazi and East German regimes was opened in the former governor’s house in April 2018.

Literature:
  • Leonore Ansorg, Politische Häftlinge im nationalsozialistischen Strafvollzug: Das Zuchthaus Brandenburg-Görden, Berlin 2015.
  • Leonore Ansorg, Politische Häftlinge im Strafvollzug der DDR: Die Strafvollzugsanstalt Brandenburg, Berlin 2005.
  • Sylvia de Pasquale, Zwischen Resozialisierung und „Ausmerze“. Strafvollzug in Brandenburg an der Havel (1920-1945), Berlin 2013.

Links:

  • Website of the Brandenburg Memorial Foundation
  • Website: Places of memory 1933–1945 Memorials, documentary centres and museums on the history of the Nazi dictatorship in Berlin and Brandenburg

Continue readingcollapse
This prison was planned in the 1920s for the ‘modern penitentiary system’ and was completed in 1931. Between 1933 and 1945, the prison in Brandenburg-Görden was the scene of Nazi judicial crimes including excessive sentences, inhumane conditions of imprisonment, over-application of the death sentence, and racially motivated extermination programmes. During the Nazi period the capacity of the prison was increased from an initial 1800 to approximately 3000 inmates by the end of the war. Up to 60 per cent of the prisoners from all over Europe were so-called political prisoners, sentenced for ‘plotting high treason’, ‘subversion of national defence’ and ‘military insubordination’. Political and criminal prisoners were kept together and, in an execution site set up in 1940, more than 2000 death sentences were carried out.
Continue readingcollapse
  • Gedenkstätte Zuchthaus Brandenburg-Görden, Foto: Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Der 1975 gestaltete Gedenkraum, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg
  • Dauerausstellung, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a. d. H. /Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Gedenkstätte am ehemaligen Hinrichtungsort 1999, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg / Kiessling
  • Dauerausstellung, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a. d. H. /Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Sicherung der Strafvollzugsanstalt Brandenburg - Görden, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg
  • Dauerausstellung, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a. d. H. /Cordia Schlegelmilch
  • Ehemaliger Hinrichtungsort der NS-Justiz, Foto: Gedenkstätten Brandenburg a.d.H/ Hagen Immel
After 1945 the prison was first used by the Soviet military authorities and the Soviet secret service, the NKVD, as a repatriation camp, and was also used for those suspecting of collaborating with the enemy. In 1950 the East German Ministry of the Interior took over the Brandenburg facility and detained convicted criminals, Nazi perpetrators and war criminals along with political opponents, participants in the uprising of June 17, 1953, failed ‘fugitives’ and prospective emigrants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals. Brandenburg Prison was one of East Germany’s largest penitentiary institutions.

A memorial was built inside the prison in 1949 in honour of those executed during the Nazi regime. In 1990, the Justice Ministry of the State of Brandenburg took over the prison and has run it as a correctional facility since then. The memorial rooms and the partially reconstructed execution site are still located inside the facility and can be visited by arrangement. A freely accessible permanent exhibition on the history of the prison during the Nazi and East German regimes was opened in the former governor’s house in April 2018.

Literature:
  • Leonore Ansorg, Politische Häftlinge im nationalsozialistischen Strafvollzug: Das Zuchthaus Brandenburg-Görden, Berlin 2015.
  • Leonore Ansorg, Politische Häftlinge im Strafvollzug der DDR: Die Strafvollzugsanstalt Brandenburg, Berlin 2005.
  • Sylvia de Pasquale, Zwischen Resozialisierung und „Ausmerze“. Strafvollzug in Brandenburg an der Havel (1920-1945), Berlin 2013.

Links:

  • Website of the Brandenburg Memorial Foundation
  • Website: Places of memory 1933–1945 Memorials, documentary centres and museums on the history of the Nazi dictatorship in Berlin and Brandenburg

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Comfort Information

  • Leisuretime
    Visitor parking
    • Distance of visitor parking to the entrance (in meters, approx.): 100
    Flooring
    • Level, trip-free flooring everywhere (inside and outside)
    Stairs
    • Everything is accessible at ground level / without stairs.
    Guest bathroom
    • Guest toilet is accessible without stairs
    Additional info
    • Convenient arrival by public transport possible
    • There are enough seats available
    • Handrails on all stairs

Arrival planner

Anton-Saefkow-Allee 38

14472 Brandenburg an der Havel

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Tourist information

Tourismusverband Havelland e.V.

Theodor-Fontane-Straße 10
14641 Nauen OT Ribbeck

Tel.: +49 (0) 33237-859030
Fax: +49 (0) 33237-859040

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All information, times and prices are regularly checked and updated. Nevertheless, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the data. We recommend that you inquire about the current status by phone / e-mail or via the provider's website before your visit.

(+49) +49(0)3312004747​ We are available for you via telephone: weekdays Mon – Fri 9 am – 1 pm and Oct. 31 from 9 am – 1 pm.

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