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This huge building was the place of the political party of the former East Germany. Considering itself the "shield and sword of the party" it was from this compound that the Stasi conducted its nearly 40-year-long fight against the so called enemies of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) - against those who refused to follow the guidelines of the regime, against those who did not conform to its ideas of a human being.
The centrepiece of the highly secured compound was "house 1", constructed in 1960. It was built as the seat of the offices of the Minister of State Security. From 1957 to 1989 the head of the Stasi was Erich Mielke.
After citizens occupied the premises in January 1990, the Association for Anti-Stalinist Action (ASTAK e.V.) opened "house 1" on the 7th of November 1990 as research and memorial site. The former headquarters of the secret police were now open to the public. The minister's offices ("the Mielke suite"), the offices of those of his inner circle as well as the conference room and lounge have been almost completely preserved in their original condition.
After substantial renovation, "house 1" was reopened in January 2012 with temporary exhibitions provided by the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU) and ASTAK e.V. A new joint permanent exhibition "State Security in the GDR" opened in 2013.