The analysis of Knabe’s Gefangen in Hohenschönhausen, in particular the reframing and repurposing of memory matter to support the overarching narrative of the anthology and the political viewpoint of its editor, highlights the importance of both the mediator and the institution in the formation of collective narratives about the past. Chapters 4 and 5 will consider further the institutional embedding of memory through close examination of a medium more evidently linked to political power: the memorial museum. Williams (2007, p. 8) defines memorial museums as sites at which educational considerations, traditionally associated with the museum, coalesce with acts of commemoration and a ‘moral framework’ founded on memory of the victims of past atrocity and violence. In the context of memory of the Stasi, there are a number of sites across the five new Länder and Berlin which fit this definition. This study will consider seven memorial museums located in former Stasi remand prisons, two located in former national or regional offices of the MfS and one located in the notorious Bautzen prison, which was under the directive of the MfS. In the following, I give a brief overview of the history, form and political context of these sites. The chapter will go on to consider the role and nature of authenticity in memorial museums and the methods use to construct an authentic experience for the visitor and an authoritative narrative about the GDR. Chapter 5 will then consider the embedding of eyewitness testimony in this context.
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