Home > Research > Project information

History of the Bautzen Strasse detention centre and the Dresden State Security District Administration Authority 1945-1990

Research field:Dictatorship Research
Research focus: Rule and Society (Project completed)
Coordination: Dr. Thomas Widera


As part of the co-operative project with the Dresden BautznerStrasse Memorial, Thomas Widera and Bettina Westfeld conducted 30 oral-history interviews and recorded, documented, analysed and assessed the experiences of former Stasi remand prisoners in an effort to explore the history of investigative custody from the victims’ perspective, in keeping with visitors’ growing demand for concrete information. Complementary to the victims’ perspective, that of the persecutors, senior officers of the former Dresden State Security District Administration Authority and staff of the investigative body, Department IX, was also examined in detail by searching through files in the archived personnel and other Stasi documents. Considering the investigators in charge as acting individuals disclosed their respective leeway in repression over and above service regulations and duties. This person-oriented approach is helpful in better outlining the structures of State Security as an instrument of power for the SED. Results of the study have been incorporated into the exhibition concept of the memorial.