KGB Cells Museum is located on Riia Hill, across the street from the Ekraan cinema, in a grey building which was used in the 1940s and 1950s by the NKVD/KGB. The basement level, once used as a remand prison for political prisoners, is open to visitors. Part of the cells, the lock-ups and the corridor have been restored to their original condition. Other former cells house an exhibition on WWII, the post-war fight for Estonia’s independence, the crimes of the communist regime and the realities of life in a remand prison. Among other things, the exhibition includes photos and items from prison camps in Siberia, materials on Estonian partisans (the so-called Forest Brothers) and the history of underground resistance organisations as well as on political dissent, including Aleksander Solzenitsyn’s connection to Estonia.
On the 14th of June 2019 – Estonian national memorial day, which commemorates the victims of the 1941 Soviet mass deportations – KGB Cells Museum opened a new temporary exhibition about the death of one the most dangerous man of the Third Reich – Reinhard Heydrich.
Reinhard Heydrich was believed to be the third most powerful man in the German Nazi Party, behind only Adolf Hitler himself and Heinrich Himmler. He was the head of the German security police (Gestapo) and the main architect of the Holocaust.
The exhibition focuses on one the most significant acts of resistance of World War II in occupied Europe: operation Anthropoid and the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. It took place on the 27th of May 1942 in Prague. The main participants of this heroic act were the exile Czechoslovak army paratroopers Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. The assassination resulted in brutal retaliation by the occupying Germans.
The exhibition was made by the Military History Institute in Prague and it was brought to Estonia thanks to the efforts of the Defence Attaché Office of the Czech Republic to Estonia and the Czech Embassy in Estonia.
The exhibition “Reinhard Heydrich Assassination – the Death of the Holocaust Architect” will remain open in the KGB Cells Museum until October 2019.
Beginning with October 17th, a new photo exhibition is opened in KGB Cells Museum: Enn Tarto 80. Imprisoned and Exonerated.
For Enn Tarto, the year 2018 hold significance in several ways. This is the year he celebrates his 80th birthday but also the 30th anniversary of liberation from Soviet prison camps. Tarto spent 14 years in Soviet prison camps, having been arrested three times for fighting for the freedom of Estonia.
The exhibition was curated by Silver Kaldma (KGB Cells Museum) and designed by Joonas Õunapuu (Tartu City Museum).
The exhibition is open until the beginning of May, 2019.
Up until 18th of January 2018 the exhibition “Inta. Special camp no. 1” was opened in KGC Cells Museum.
The exhibition gives an overview on a prison camp that was located in Komi area (northwestern Russia). Many Estonians were captivated and sent there as political prisoners during 1940s and 1950s.