Special Exhibition 2019

The Juvenile Detention Centre at Königstein hill, 1949-1955

5 April - 3 November 2019
Magdalene's Castle, 2nd floor

From 1949 to 1955, Königstein Fortress accommodated a juvenile detention centre. Here, difficult and delinquent teenagers were to be educated into “communist personas”. Seventy years after this “institution of correction” was founded, an exhibition at Königstein Fortress reminds us of this period.

Installations, photos, documents, and objects confront visitors with the teenagers‘ daily routine at Königstein hill at the time. Media stations with reports from contemporary witnesses grant very personal insights.

The exhibition pursues the question of why there were juvenile detention centres in East Germany and why Königstein hill accommodated one of them.
Juvenile detention centres were established to give orphaned and neglected teenagers a chance to complete a professional training and lead “ordinary lives” thereafter. After a rather experimental beginning, in the 1950s the centre’s direction was orientated towards the collective education of the Soviet pedagog Makarenko like many other juvenile detention centres in East Germany. Work as well as recreation were strictly organised.

Due to public pressure, the juvenile detention centre was closed in spring 1955 and converted into a museum. Some of its inmates were released, the others were allocated to other juvenile detention centres.

Age recommendation: from 12
Note: Due to the sensitivity of the topic, this exhibition has neither children’s texts nor museum’s educational interactive offers.