This building once served as the headquarters of the city's detachment of the Communist secret police, the dreaded Staatssicherheitsdienst. The exhibition Stasi—Macht und Banalität (Stasi—Power and Banality) presents not only the Stasi's offices and surveillance work, but also hundreds of documents revealing the magnitude of its interests in citizens' private lives. Though the material is in German, the items and atmosphere convey an impression of what
life under the regime might have been like. The exhibit about the death penalty in the GDR is particularly chilling.