The Terrain of the “Topography of Terror”

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.

The “grove of locust trees” on Wilhelm- and Anhalter Straße are also a part of the historic site. Instead of the buildings currently standing on the northeastern section of the grounds, two monumental structures were to be built for the Reich Security Main Office, according to plans from the Nazi era. Today the grove with the former “Autodrom” driving practice track offers an impression of how the grounds were used during the postwar period.