The front building of Lindenstraße 54 was built from 1734 to 1737 by order of King Frederick William I as a baroque city palace in the Dutch style. Along with the city palace, the “Great Dutch House” was considered one of the most magnificent residential buildings in Potsdam. After the end of the Napoleonic occupation, the Prussian town ordinance came into force on November 19, 1808, as part of the Prussian reforms. Potsdam also elected a city council for the first time, which met at Lindenstraße 54 from 1809. In 1820, Potsdam’s municipal court and prison moved into the building, and from 1879 the district court was based here. Between 1907 and 1910, the prison complex that still exists today was built in the backyard. During the National Socialist dictatorship of 1933-1945, the building served as a prison for political and racial persecutees and, from 1934, as the seat of a so-called hereditary health court. After the Second World War, the Soviet secret police NKVD used the site as a central prison in the state of Brandenburg and as a venue for Soviet military tribunals. From 1952, the regional remand prison of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR was located at this site. As a result of the Peaceful Revolution in 1989/90, the prison became a place of democracy.
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