We started day three with a little shopping as I wanted to visit a stationary shop recommended by a website that the gorgeous Stephanie Levy ,a Berlin based artist, alerted me to. The area this shop was in had other interesting shops. bakeries and restaurants, and we returned there in the evening for a lovely meal at Mr Vuong which took us right back to our trip to Vietnam last year.
I loved the flowers painted on this wall
and the sparkly paper tied on to this fence
and I couldn't resist taking a photo of this guy - he looked so cool!
An antiques store had some interesting bits and bobs including these cut out figures for if you can't afford your own staff!
After lunch at the Barn (recommended ) the weather closed in and the brollies came out. Highly suitable for a trip to Starsi HQ. When we got out of the underground at our destination the buildings were grimmer than any others we had seen in Berlin, grey blocks of concrete. The site covered by the EastGerman secret police HQ was huge and when we went in we could see exactly why they needed so much space.
The museum documents the extreme nature of the police state in the GDR. Something like 1 in 3 citizens were under surveillance via pot plant, watering can and other ingenious methodologies for secreting cameras in the most unlikely places. there were huge numbers of police informants. The Stasi seemed to have been much more thorough than their colleagues in the KGB, perhaps because the population was more contained.
There were propaganda posters aplenty which reminded me of the ones we saw in Vietnam last year - there was clearly a communist vernacular in poster art!
Bringing all this to life is the office of Erich Mielke head of the Stasi from 1957 to 1989. His dress uniform still hangs in the cupboard and it seems eerily ready for use, as does the boardroom
In all it was a very sobering experience and made me realise how much we take our democratic freedoms for granted.
Take care and see you next time!