The Gestapo prison cells and torture chambers in the basement are reconstructed to the way they existed during the Second World War. The events which took place in the basement are illustrated with the help of full-sized exhibits and mannequins.The purpose of recreating parts of the Gestapo headquarters is to give a glimpse into the activities and atmosphere of Arkivet during the period from 1942-45. This is meant to help make visible the results of totalitarian ideologies.
The violence at Arkivet in Kristiansand constitutes some of Southern Norway's darkest chapters in terms of occupation history. Gestapo took over the State Archive in January 1942 and turned it into a regional headquarters. More than 300 people were brutally tortured regularly in the building's basement. Today more than 6000 people visit Arkivet each year to learn about the dark past. Most of these are school children and students.