Online Exhibits - KGB/Stasi Prison Exhibit

The Cold War Museum - Midwest Chapter proudly announced the opening of its mobile KGB/ Stasi Prison cell door exhibition at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday, March 12, 2004. The event opened with a reception at 5:00pm followed by a presentation by two former East German Stasi prisoners at 6:00pm.

Werner I. Juretzko and John Van Altena, both former prisoners of the East German regime, discussed their confinement in one of the world’s most deplorable prison systems. Mr. Juretzko was convicted of espionage for Western intelligence in 1955, serving six years of an original thirteen- year sentence before his release. Mr. Van Altena, an American citizen, was convicted in 1962 to serve six- years in confinement. His crime was the intent of smuggling a family out of East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie in a secret compartment of his car. He had served over 18 months before his release was negotiated successfully from the East German government.

About the Exhibit

The cell door originates from the former KGB/ Stasi underground interrogation prison in East Berlin (Hohenschoenhausen). The exhibit is complete with an authentic prison guard uniform and prison garbs of a maximum-security prisoner. A supplemental display shows the prison’s location in Berlin as well as images of a guillotine used to execute political prisoners of the regime. Together each piece of this extraordinary compilation of genuine, rare East German artifacts forms another Cold War Museum mobile exhibition. The exhibit was previously on loan to the Safe House Newsroom, home of the Milwaukee Press Club. The Center is located adjacent to the attractive Milwaukee Art Museum at 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive on Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront.

For questions about the event or exhibit please contact Chris Sturdevant via email at or by voicemail at 262-227-1198. For more information on the Cold War Museum - Midwest Chapter please visit

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The Cold War Museum

P.O. Box 861526

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(540) 341-2008