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We are an association, a memorial, a research facility and a contact for those affected.

The association Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus (MRZ) was founded in October 2007 after a large prisoners' meeting in the former Cottbus prison, to which the former political prisoner and politician Dieter Dombrowski had invited.

Most of the members of the association are political prisoners of the GDR who served time in the Cottbus penal institution. When they founded it, they declared their aim to be as follows:

"... to make a contribution to reconciliation in the context of coming to terms with and educating people about the history of the two former GDR detention centres in Cottbus and, in coming to terms with the history of injustice in this place, to awaken understanding and a willingness to help people who are persecuted politically, racially or religiously in other states of this world."
(Excerpt from the statutes)

Since May 2011, the Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus has been the owner of the former prison on Bautzener Straße and operates the Cottbus Prison Memorial. The central concerns of the former political prisoners are to remember and to serve as a warning. Young people are to be sensitised to the values of a free democratic society based on the rule of law through the vivid depiction of past injustice. The Board of the association, which also includes former political prisoners, decides on the development of the memorial.


  • Foto 07. Oktober 2007, Treffen von zahlreichen ehemaligen politischen Häftlingen sowie Bürgern aus nah und fern

    Invitation to the kick-off meeting on 7 October 2007

    Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus e.V.

  • Foto Der Einladung sind 800 Bürger gefolgt

    800 citizens and former political prisoners accepted the invitation.

    Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus e.V.

  • Foto Cottbuser Erklärung vom 07. Oktober 2007

    Cottbus Declaration of 7 October 2007 - Start of the reappraisal of injustice in the former Cottbus prison

    Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus e.V.

  • Foto 18. Juni 2022 Mitgliederversammlung: Rückblick auf 15 Jahre Vereinsarbeit

    18 June 2022: Meeting of members with review of 15 years of successful association work

    Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus e.V.


Goals and tasks


  • Support in researching files
  • Individual discussions and interviews with contemporary witnesses
  • Documentation and research on Cottbus as a place of detention
  • A variety of events on contemporary historical and current political topics
  • Alternating exhibitions
  • Educational events and projects for groups and school classes
  • Active human rights work at the educational events and humanitarian aid on site, e.g. in northern Iraq and Ukraine
  • Lively association life

Malerei im Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus e.V.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Reverence for the past and responsibility for the future give the right attitude for life."

Menschenrechtszentrum Cottbus e.V. | Bautzener Straße 140 | 03050 Cottbus | Free parking spaces

Information and reservations:

Opening hours:

Mon.
closed

Tue. - Fri.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sat. + Son.
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission until one hour before closing time.

Closed on public holidays.

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