Museum of Secret Surveillance: “House of Leaves”
The building known as the “House of Leaves” (so called because of the clambering plant covering its facade) has now returned to the Museum of Secret Surveillance. Opened on 23rd of May, it is the newest museum in Albania and certainly the most intriguing one that tries to narrate to young people and to foreigners, one of the darkest periods of the country’s history.
Located in the center of Tirana, in front of Orthodox Church: “The Resurrection of Christ” and near the National Bank, the building that temporarily housed Gestapo during the occupation of Albania in WWII was the Central Directorate of the Secret Service from 1944 to 1991.
As the history of Albania itself under the Communist dictatorship that was installed at the end of World War II and continued for almost half a century, the House of Leaves also, was covered for a long time with all sorts of legends and it comprised the unknown, a mystery. Whispers of people and rustling of leaves… By opening the doors of this house, presenting the activities that were conducted in it and many other things related to it, this museum will unfold simultaneously aspects of Albanian society in the conditions of a regime that aimed at the total control over the human bodies and souls.
Interceptions, checks, spying … that brought arrests, interments, tortures, severe punishments for quite many innocent people … This museum is dedicated to them…