The museum is situated at the building of the “Russian Women Pilgrims Hostel”, built in the 1860’s as part of the Russian Compound. The hostel was converted into a central prison during the British Mandate, in which, alongside criminals, hundreds of underground warriors were imprisoned: Haganah, Etzel and Lehi people who had been captured by the British on various actions, while fighting against foreign rule. The prison was evacuated towards the end of the Mandate. The Russian Compound was conquered by the Haganah with the assistance of the Etzel and Lehi during operation “Trident”, on 14th May 1948. Following the establishment of the State the building was used for various civil purposes, including the warehouse of the Jewish Agency. The building was renovated and restored in the 1990’s and became a museum describing the struggle of the Yishuv (Jewish population) for the establishment of the State through the unique story of the underground prisoners.
What’s at the site: the prison cells, the escape room, the synagogue cell, the solitary confinement cells, the execution chamber, telling the sacrifice story of Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barazani and an information center.
For the general public: guided museum tours through the prison cells, an introduction to the story of the underground prisoners and the story of their struggle for the benefit of the Jewish population of the Land of Israel during the British Mandate. The tour includes a film following a new prisoner at the prison, a visit to the escape room, the solitary confinement rooms and the execution chamber. The duration of the tour is approx. 1.5 hours.
For children: guided tours of the prison, family activities – an assignment game including: sticking a proclamation, hiding a weapon in a slick (hiding place for weapons), secret underground activities and more.
The museum belongs to Museums Unit of the Ministry of Defence.