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“Dictatorship and their methods explained”
Review of House of Leaves

House of Leaves
Ranked #17 of 114 things to do in Tirana
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 31 May 2018

The museum is housed in one of the buildings used by the secret service during the communist period. The museum tells the story of eavesdropping and other methods of observing its own population, as well as the forced labour camps for family members, prisons, executions and those who died trying to escape Albania.
The museum is very similar to the BunkerArt 2 museum, and some of the same victims are featured in both. The history is obviously also the same, and also for the methods and tactics there is a decent amount of overlap. The big difference is that here there are many more numbers, and statistics. The harrowing thought is how few (about 50 if I remember correctly) people worked full time in the secret service, keeping a population of up to 3 million in an iron fist, as well as fighting real crime. There were obviously also paid informers, but even there number was rather small compared to the whole population.

Thank Katrien S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"interrogation room"
in 2 reviews
"state security"
in 2 reviews
"first hand"
in 2 reviews
"secret service"
in 2 reviews
"communist regime"
in 5 reviews
"other countries"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 2 reviews
"albanian history"
in 2 reviews
"embassies"
in 3 reviews
"overlap"
in 3 reviews
"surveillance"
in 8 reviews
"headquarters"
in 3 reviews
"documents"
in 5 reviews
"spying"
in 3 reviews
"victims"
in 3 reviews
"spied"
in 3 reviews
"documentaries"
in 2 reviews
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11 - 15 of 43 reviews

Reviewed 19 May 2018 via mobile

This visit surely awakes thoughts about it must have been living in a totalitarian dictatorship! It is a scary thought! The museum giva a frightening insight of who you could trust or not with your ideas and even sharing your thoughts with. Something we maybe do not comprehend so often theese days!

Thank Hansjons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2018

This is a really interesting museum of the surveillance state of the Albanian Communist regime. The house itself was a base for the security services, and was used as interrogation centre, as well as the base for phone tapping and various other forms of surveillance. What you come away with is the fact that, by the time the regime fell in the 90s, they had created a state where pretty much everyone spent most of their time keeping an eye on everyone else, and where much of the rare foreign currency budget of the regime was spent on bugs, cameras and stuff to keep everyone under surveillance all the time.
The atmosphere is dark, and there is a real sense of the hopelessness of the people - particularly in the photographs taken at trials, where the bright light of the flash washes out much of the character of the subject, and people just look doomed. This is particularly obvious when you can compare it with pictures from earlier in their lives - frequently where they were high-ranking officers of the state themselves.
Others have made the point that it is primarily an exhibition of documents, but these are very well presented, in a way that makes the point about the ubiquity of surveillance in this state - a lesson for us all!

Thank Ian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2018

This is an excellent museum which gives a very clear insight into what life was like for Albanians under the Communist.There are recorded reminiscences of spies and the hunted.Also a1963 documentary purporting to show black market activity.Some of the steps are uneven and are not marked with any warning.I spent around 2 hours here and it was well worth it

2  Thank wingate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 April 2018

This is a small museum so fairly quick to visit. It's only been open a short time so we felt very privileged to be allowed in. It tells the story of the Secret Police and the way they monitored and controlled every aspect of normal everyday life. It provides a glimpse into the madness of the communist regime and also gives you some idea of what North Korea must be like.

1  Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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