Oscar Romero Haus was-built in 1869 as a prison (1869-1930). After closure of the prison Caritas Bonn planned to convert the building into a refuge for homeless. In 1933, however, it was confiscated by the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workes Party) to be used from now on as barack for the SS. The former prison became a greatly feared concentration camp, where on July 11th 1933 the Beuel (once an autonomous city, today a district of Bonn a the right side of the Rhine) communist Jozef Messinger was tortured to death. With regard to the imminent war several rooms were converted into public air-raid shelters in 1938. In the same year, the Technische Nothilfe (technical emergency assistance team) moved into the building, followed in 1943 by the air-raid protection police. The building was severely damaged by bombs in 1944. After World War II it was used as a refuge for homeless. In the seventies of the twentied century the building was converted into a student hostel by the Hilfswerk der katholischen Studenten-gemeinde (Catholic Students Aid Organization), directed by priest Martin Huthmann. 1982 the newly-founded organization Oscar-Romero-Haus e.V. bought the building. Today it hostes several residential communities as well as offices of the oecumenic network Initiative Kirche von unten (IKvu), MediNetzBonn and info agencies of Latin America, El Salvador and Guatemala.