Kommandantenhaus - memorial site for the victims of political violence of the 20th century, Lindenstraße 54/55
The Kommandantenhaus was built between 1733 and 1737. Its construction was ordered by King Frederick William I, the so-called "Soldier King", to set up a residence for the commandant of the royal guard ("Leibregiment"). Formerly, the court buildings encompassed horse stables and coach houses. The unrendered red-brick construction reflects the Dutch architectural style of the time. King Frederick William I also incorporated the brick style into his own residence. The building´s function was modified when in 1809 the first elected assembly of city councillors was held in this house. In 1953 the complex was given to the GDR Ministry of State Security. A year after the turning point, civil movements and parties claimed the house for their activities. Five years later, in 1995, a memorial was erected with the name "The victim" ("Das Opfer"), created by the Berlin sculptor Wieland Förster. Due to these events, the former Kommandantenhaus transformed into a memorial site. Like no other place in Potsdam, it stands for the continuous political persecution and violence of the 20th century, as well as for the victory of democracy after the peaceful 1989/1990 revolution. The authentic prison building currently provides information to visitors about the building´s history divided into three exhibitions. Starting in May 2011, the exhibition "The Stasi´s remand prison from 1952-1989" will be expanded to include the feature "Escaping the GDR" ("Flucht aus der DDR"), illustrating the escape movement from the GDR and portraying the lives of eight people whose attempts to escape failed and who were imprisoned in Potsdam by the Stasi. The memorial site provides guided tours through the exhibitions and special educational youth offers at its project workshop "Lindenstraße 54". The exhibitions are complemented by the joint series of events called "People living under dictatorships" ("Menschen unter Diktaturen") in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung). Operating hours: March-December: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., January-February: Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.