The Gestapo headquarters and the Pawiak prison in Warsaw

The Gestapo Headquarters in Warsaw

The Gestapo Headquarters in Warsaw ©b1mbo/Flick

One of the most feared buildings of the twentieth century Warsaw is the Szucha street Nr. 25, known as the former headquarters of the Gestapo. Constructed between 1927-1930 the building operated as a religious center, but with the advent of the Nazi regime in 1939, the building has become one of the scariest buildings in Poland, when for five years worked as a brutal interrogation center.

Built between the years 1830-1833, the Pawiak prison was the most famous political prison in Poland, which once served the Russian Tsar incarceration enemies. In 1863, the prison worked as a transfer camp for Poles being deported to Siberia.

The Gestapo headquarters in Warsaw

Today the Gestapo Headquarters in Warsaw is transformed into the Ministry of Education, and also hosts a small museum in underground galleries where visitors can visit the cells where the prisoners were held before interrogation, and the torture chambers, most left untouched after the war.

Cell in the Gestapo Headquarters

Cell in the Gestapo Headquarters ©rucativava/Flick

The cells were known as “trams”, where the Poles were forced to sit on some wooden benches in the dark, facing the wall and awaiting their fate. Being forbidden to eat or sleep, they had to stay even for days, disobeying the orders being punished with death. You can still see the traces of the bullets on the cell walls.

According to the tapes translated into English, the prisoners were subjected to severe beatings, bitten by dogs and electrocuted, and those who refused to cooperate, were forced to watch their family being tortured. You can see the faded portrait of Adolf Hitler, and along the shelves are a number of sinister tools, whips, handcuffs.

The Gestapo Headquarters in Warsaw

The Gestapo Headquarters in Warsaw ©b1mbo/Flick

The Pawiak Prison in Warsaw

Then, during the Second World War, when Poland was under German occupation the Pawiak Prison in Warsaw became part of the Warsaw concentration camp and the largest Polish political prison. That time about 100,000 prisoners passed through its gates, of which 37,000 people were executed on the spot, while the remaining 60,000 prisoners were taken to the gas chamber. In the underground cells, destinated for hosting up to 3 persons were sometimes piled 18 prisoners.

Although it was blown up by the Nazis in 1944, the Pawiak Prison was restored as a memorial to those who have endured terrible suffering inside the prison, and now hosts a series of photographs depicting the tragic events of that time, some personal objects of the detainees and reconstructed cells. Outside the prison gates, can be seen the tree that keeps some obituary listings since 1944.

The Pawiak Prison in Warsaw

The Pawiak Prison in Warsaw ©nicksarebi/Flick

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