The building is located on the site, where around 1000 the first German castle was built in a mainly Slavic / Sorbic populated area. The old city wall of Leipzig ran just outside this place. 1911 to 1913 the new office building of the “Alte Leipziger” Fire Insurance Company was built.
Rumour has it that the house was used by the Gestapo in the time of National Socialism. In April 1945, shortly before the end of the Second World War, the American army moved into the “Runde Ecke” quarters, temporarily. A few months later Leipzig was handed over to the Soviet military administration and the building apparently became the property of the Soviet occupying force and was used by the Soviet secret service, NKVD, and the predecessor of the Stasi, “K 5”. In 1950, the building became the district headquarters of the Stasi until 1989.
For nearly 40 years the “Runde Ecke” was a threatening stronghold in the middle of the city. All conversation ceased when people passed this place. During the Monday Demonstrations this building became the target of the anger and outrage of the demonstrators.
On the evening of the 4th December 1989 Leipzig citizens occupied the building. Several weeks previously the Monday demonstrators had demanded "Krumme Ecke - Schreckenshaus, wann wird ein Museum d'raus?" (“Crooked Corner - horror house, when will it become a museum?"). In August 1990 this demand became a reality with the opening of the permanent historical exhibition “Stasi – Power and Banality”.
Today the Leipzig office of the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR (Bundesbeauftragte für Stasiunterlagen, abr. BStU) uses a large part of the building for archiving Stasi files and doing research on them. There are ten kilometers of files in the building! Any citizen can request a search to determine whether the Stasi had a file on him, and can inspect it, if one exists.
Those who want to get an impression of the work of the Commissioner's office and the handling of the records can visit the archive.