Daniel Etter‘s project from Hohenschonhausen piggybacks on the story of Norbert Krebs to shape the narrative. Krebs was imprisoned in Hohenschonhausen – the primary Stasi Prison in the GDR – for questioning the reliability of election results. He now leads guided tours. In sites such as these, it is a solemn privilege to hear the first-hand experiences of anyone persecuted by prior political powers.
It is as much a dilemma for communities and nations as it is an opportunity to write and affirm history, when former prisons are repurposed. Prison museums, peace museums and memorials are all common solutions to the troublesome, contested and understandably hated sites.
Prison museums are very common – here’s a (non exhaustive) list of links.
Texas Prison Museum
Angola Prison Museum, Louisiana
San Quentin Prison Museum
Folsom Prison Museum
Eastern State Penitentiary
Sing Sing Prison Museum
Old Montana Prison Museum
Burlington County Prison Museum
Museum of Colorado Prisons
Wyoming Frontier Prison
Dartmoor Prison Museum, England
Lancaster Castle, England
The Clink Prison Museum, London
Robben Island Museum, South Africa
Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania, Australia
Fremantle Prison, Western Australia
Abashiri Prison Museum, Japan
The Changi Museum, Singapore
Kresty Prison Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
If your interest is piqued, consult this inventory of prison museums from across the globe: The mother of all lists.
And here’s a random selection of photographs of a selection of prison museums.