- Surrounded by blossoming trees and peaceful lakes, Plötzensee seems a pleasant place on first appearances. Yet Plötzensee prison was the scene of some of the most monstrous crimes in the Third Reich. Over 2,500 political prisoners were executed here in 1933-45, including the members of the July 1944 bomb plot to assassinate Hitler (see Gedenkstätte deutscher Widerstand). Hitler ordered that the plotters be hanged with chicken wire so that they would be slowly strangled rather than dying quickly of a broken neck. He then watched films of the executions at his home in the evening. Of all Berlin's memorials to Nazi crimes, Plötzensee is perhaps the most horrific and the most chilling. The main building is still used as a prison for young offenders, but the execution chamber has been turned into a museum.
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