Bautzen II, the 'Stasi prison’
Bautzen court jail 1906-1933
Bautzen II was built by the Saxon Ministry of Justice and the district and regional court. The jail was designed to accommodate 203 prisoners in 203 cells. They were used for pretrial confinement and for convicted prisoners serving short terms. It was common practice to sentence minor offenders to a few days in the court jail. The Bautzen court jail was a modern facility but was too large. It was rare for the jail to be fully occupied.
Jail for judicial prisoners and persons in 'protective custody' 1933-1945
Since 1924 the court jail had been part of the Bautzen State Penitentiary and was used as a pretrial confinement facility. Officially nothing changed with the National Socialist dictatorship. In fact, however, Bautzen II was also used by the SA for interrogating persons in 'protective custody'. Prisoners were subjected to abuse. The persons in 'protective custody' were then sent to the Hohnstein concentration camp. The judiciary supported the extrajudicial persecution of dissenters.
Soviet pretrial confinement facility 1945-1949
After the end of the war the Soviet secret police used the vacant court jail for interrogations. The single-occupancy cells were overfilled and health conditions were miserable. There was hardly enough food and water for the many inmates. The NKVD often used torture to extract confessions to charges that often were merely fabricated. A Soviet military tribunal held proceedings in the adjacent court building. Most verdicts were pronounced for political reasons. In this manner the Soviet occupying forces contributed to the establishment of a Communist dictatorship.
Penal institution 1949-1951
In September 1949 the Soviet secret police returned the building to the Saxon judiciary. Under its administration the court jail now became a penal institution as the state penitentiary remained in use as a Soviet special camp. The judiciary also used the former military prison on Paulistrasse as a penal institution.
Branch facility of Bautzen I 1951-1956
In 1951 the East German Ministry of the Interior, which was now responsible for the penal system as a whole, assumed control of the prison. Now designated 'object II', the court jail again became a branch facility of Bautzen I.
Special prison of the Ministry of State Security 1956-1989
In 1956 the East German Ministry of State Security established a special prison in Bautzen II. Bautzen II was expanded and converted to a maximum security tract designed to accommodate 200 special prisoners such as dissidents, prisoners from West Germany, spies or prominent criminals with special status. In 1963 the building was separated from Bautzen I and made an independent penal institution. To conceal its true purpose, it officially remained under the control of the Ministry of the Interior.
In December 1989 all political prisoners were freed at once.
Branch facility of the Bautzen Correctional Institution 1990-1992
After the political prisoners had been released, Bautzen II was nearly empty. In July 1990 it again became a Saxon correctional institution and a branch facility of Bautzen I. The prison was finally closed in January 1992.