THE ABANDONED PRISON IN GERMANY
The ‘Amtsgerichtsgefängnis Oederan’ was inaugurated in autumn 1911. It served as a prison until 1960, in 1965 it became the property of the city of Oederan. It was used as an apartment for some years, and it was eventually abandoned in 1996.
In the middle of the 19th century, the city council decided to expand the upper floor of the town hall to house not only a court office but also a prison. After the old rooms in the town hall were no longer sufficient, eventually a new courthouse and a prison with 17 cells were built in 1910. Only one year later, both the art nouveau court and the prison, were inaugurated.
An underground passage which connect both buildings was built to transport convicted prisoners. Adjacent to the prison building are three courtyards, which are surrounded by a 4 m high wall.
Second World War and Cold War era
An early concentration camp for political opponents of National Socialism was located here from the beginning of March until April 1933. There is evidence that 80 prisoners were locked up. After the Second World War, the prison was converted into a pre-trial detention center, which was closed in 1960. The district court of the Flöha district was housed in the courthouse from 1952 to 1994. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the property was partly used as an apartment and partly as a warehouse for the Consumers’ co-operative. One apartment continued to exist until 1996. Since that year, the prison has been completely empty.
The court is a listed monument. During my visit, the city used the old court as a town hall until renovation of the town hall is complete. I visited the ‘Amtsgerichtsgefängnis Oederan’ in 2019. More abandoned prisons can be found here. You can contact the city administration to visit the prison building.