“Andreasstraße” – Memorial and Study Centre Andreasstraße in Erfurt

[Excursion report by Franziska Hahn (english)]

On the 6th of November 2015, ISHA Jena organised an excursion to the Memorial and Study Centre Andreasstraße in Erfurt. Early in the morning we took the train to Erfurt, the beautiful capital of Thuringia. Since we had some time until the guided tour started, we decided to have lunch at a little café at the cathedral square. We walked a short way to the memorial.

On the guided tour, we learned a lot about the history of the GDR. Our guide was very encouraged and answered all our questions. The place commemorates the oppression and resistance exerted during the Socialist dictatorship in Thuringia in the years 1949 to 1989. After a short introduction, we were shown the so called “Haftetage” – the place were the arrested citizens were imprisoned. The guide told us about the conditions of living and of the relationships between the prisoners and the outer world. We were able to visit a prison cell that absorbs all the sound. I was a shattering experience. A movie showed the memories of contemporary witnesses. On the first floor, we saw an exihibition broaching the issue of SED-dictatorship and their influence on daily live. The final topic was the Peaceful Revolution with  focus on the occupation of the Stasi-building in the Andreasstraße.
After two and a half hours, our guide took leave and we had some time to visit the memorial on our own. Afterwards, there was time for a little snack again and for discussions about our impressions before we had to go back to Jena.