The institutions of Nazi terror
Between 1933 and 1945, the central institutions of Nazi persecution and terror – the Secret State Police Office with its own “house prison,” the leadership of the SS and, during the Second World War, the Reich Security Main Office – were located on the present-day grounds of the “Topography of Terror” that are next to the Martin Gropius Building and close to Potsdamer Platz.
With its many historic traces and relicts, the terrain comprises a central component and “primary object” of the “Topography of Terror” documentation.
The physical traces of the historic site include the excavated remains of the former (Gründerzeit) architecture along the former Prinz-Albrecht-Straße (today’s Niederkirchnerstraße) and Wilhelmstraße as well as the colonnade of the former Prinz-Albrecht-Palais. The cellar rooms of a former SS mess hut and the remains of a prison yard wall have also been preserved. The grounds contain two additional monuments: the foundation remains of the Gestapo headquarters’ “house prison” that have not been excavated and which remain a surface monument marked by gravel; and the Berlin Wall Monument – approximately 200 meters of the Berlin Wall that have been preserved on Niederkirchnerstraße.