The Arkivet Foundation (Arkivet) has acquired the building which previously belonged to the State Archive of Kristiansand. During the German occupation, Gestapo - the secret police of Nazi Germany - chose this building to be its regional headquarters for southern Norway. The rooms in the basement were used as prison cells and torture chambers from 1942-1945. They have now been recreated to look like they did during the war years.
Today the builing's ground floor and first floor house a variety of humanitarian organisations, such as regional offices for the Red Cross, the UN Association, Save the Children, Amnesty International,and ARC-aid.
Arkivet uses the second floor for its work in reconciliation, conflict management, and history teaching. Arkivet offers a guided tour programme for individuals and groups. The main bulk of visitors are students from the middle schools and upper secondary schools in the area. Between 5,000 and 6,000 pupils visit Arkivet yearly. The guided tour is linked to their course work and function as a starting point for further discussions about the various levels of conflict, ranging from mocking other students to international disagreements.
Arkivet has established a library with more than 2,300 books about Norway and Norwegian society during the 2nd World War.