Reflections of the visit to GDR Prison Hohenschönhausen

The visit to the GDR Prison on the first day of the training draw a critical picture of the political division and its consequences during the Cold War in Berlin. My expectations towards the visit related to my own images and readings of the Cold War period in Germany and frankly speaking I expected that the athmosphere and the look of the prison would have been different. The facs that surprised me were the cleanliness and punctuality. For me, the prison looked more as a hospital than a prison. Further, it seemed as a hospital to cure political diseases.

As a student of Media Studies I paid attention on the Mediums and Communication devices and practices in the prison. Most of the rooms had no furniture or decorations. However,  I noticed that medium devices were placed punctually, for example each of the interrogation room had still a telephone. For me, it represented the need to show how everything in the prison was under control and that they used the most advanced technology of that time.

The thing that I learned today was the difference between reading history books and the actual visits to the places. By reading we can only learn the facts that are told from the perspective of the writer. Whereas by visiting to the sites we are able to sense the athmosphere ourselves and create our own connection and understanding towards the places and stories that we have heard.

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