Former KGB prison becomes a memorial

21st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 May 2007, Potsdam, Germany (dpa) - Work officially began Monday on converting a former prison operated in East Germany by the Soviet KGB intelligence service into a memorial. Soviet agents tortured both German and Russian captives in the basement of the building, set in parkland at Potsdam, south-west of Berlin, and banished many to Siberian gulags. The site will commemorate their ordeal. The Soviets converted the entire area into a secret no-go area after occupying Germany in 1945. The owner, the Berli

21 May 2007

Potsdam, Germany (dpa) - Work officially began Monday on converting a former prison operated in East Germany by the Soviet KGB intelligence service into a memorial.

Soviet agents tortured both German and Russian captives in the basement of the building, set in parkland at Potsdam, south-west of Berlin, and banished many to Siberian gulags. The site will commemorate their ordeal.

The Soviets converted the entire area into a secret no-go area after occupying Germany in 1945. The owner, the Berlin-Brandenburg Lutheran Church, recovered the site in 1994 after Russian forces left.

An exhibition at the shabby building in 2000 detailed its history. It is believed to be the only KGB prison in central and eastern Europe still in its original state.

The state of Brandenburg science minister, Johanna Wanka, said at a sod-turning ceremony that the site would be of European importance.

The 90-year-old building, which is already signposted for tourists, will be opened in May 2008 to visitors and an education annexe will be built during the 2.2-million-euro (2.9-million-dollar) restoration.

The building is near the Potsdam mansion where Allied leaders met in 1945 to settle the post-war division of Europe

DPA

Subject: German news

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