In Normannenstraße, to the east of Berlin city centre, you'll find the Stasi Museum, formerly home of the Ministry of State Security. In this building you can discover how the Stasi operates and take a look at their original technology such as bugs, hidden cameras and weapons. The main attraction is the office of Erich Mielke, Minister of State Security and head of the Stasi from 1957 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The second floor of the building remains untouched since the days of the Stasi, complete with desks, chairs and filing cabinets.
On 15 January 1990 demonstrators took over the Stasi headquarters. A week later, the Central Round Table, a committee made up of representatives of the SED dictatorship and civil rights groups, decided that a “memorial and research centre on GDR Stalinism” should be established in House 1. When nothing came of this declaration of intent, members of the Berlin citizens’ committee and other civil rights activists took action and began securing the historic site. In August they founded the association “Antistalinistische Aktion e.V.” (ASTAK). On 7 November 1990, it opened the Research Centre and Memorial at Normannenstrasse with an exhibition titled “Against the Sleep of Reason”. House 1, later named the Stasi Museum, has been open to the public ever since. The offices of Erich Mielke are preserved in their original condition and form the centrepiece of the historic site.