Interview with Helge Heidemayer, Director, Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial – Ep 37

Interview with Helge Heidemayer, Director, Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial

On today’s episode of the East Germany Podcast, GDR Objectified’s John Paul Kleiner and Shane Whaley chat with the Herr Helge Heidemayer, director of the Hohenschönhausen Memorial in Berlin.


You will learn:

1) About Hohenschönhausen


a) What was Hohenschönhausen?
b) Who was incarcerated there?
c) What was the prison’s place in the GDR justice system?

2) Dr. Heidemayer’s Professional Biography


a) What was Dr. Heidemayer’s path to Directorship: Academic and professional background

3) Hohenschönhausen Memorial as Educational/Tourist Site

a) What can visitors expect on a visit to the site?

b) What is the role of former inmates?
c) Is the site connected with other relevant memorial or historic sites in Berlin (e.g. Normanenstraße, Marienfelde)? If so, what form does that connection have?

d) Memorial’s Shop: what goes in there and how do you decide this?

4) Historical Memory of the GDR

a) What reaction do visitors have to the site? Does this differ depending on their background (non-Germans, Germans from former-West, Germans from former-East)?

b) How interested in this aspect of German history are Germans? How open to discussion?

c) What is the state of education regarding the GDR period, particularly in schools? Do school groups visit?


And Much More!

Resources mentioned on this episode of Radio GDR.



Hohenschönhausen Memorial

Listen to Shane’s review of his visit to the Hohenschönhausen Memorial

GDR Objectified

Kristie Macrakis – Seduced by Secrets – Inside the Stasi Spy Tech World

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