Cities & Culture

National Socialist Documentation Centre Cologne

The National Socialist Documentation Centre in Cologne is the largest regional memorial site dedicated to the victims of National Socialism in Germany and the recipient of multiple awards. The centre is a place of remembrance, learning and research all under one roof.

The National Socialist Documentation Centre is located in the EL-DE House on Appellhofplatz square, where the Cologne branch of the Gestapo had its headquarters between 1935 and 1945. Its name came to be associated with the Nazis' reign of terror in Cologne as well as with the way it handled and got to grips with the Nazi history of the city after 1945. In the documentation and research area, the historical documents that were largely destroyed during and after the war are meticulously reconstructed.

The "Gestapo Prison" memorial in the cellar of the building is one of the best-preserved detention sites from the Nazi era. Here, more than 1,800 inscriptions on the walls tell tales of persecution, torture and murder. The prisoners' cells and inscriptions are the most immediate and vivid reminders of the horrors of the Nazi era associated with the EL-DE House. As a memorial site, the prison forms the core of the Documentation Centre and is a cultural asset of European importance. The National Socialist Documentation Centre has received multiple awards for its permanent exhibition and temporary special exhibitions. Opening times: Tuesday to Friday: 10 am–6 pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 11 am–6 pm

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