World War II enthusiasts would relish a trip to Berlin. Several historical landmarks, museums, and memorials tell the tale far better than your history book. Here’s a guided tour of some not to be missed.
German Resistance Memorial Centre
The German Resistance Memorial Centre conveys the work of the brave Germans who stood up to the regime, specifically the attempts by members of the German army in 1944. The exhibition was built in German army’s former supreme headquarters, and offers a chilling dynamic. It is the location of the execution of the members of the 1944 assassination attempt. A naked sculpture is located in the central courtyard as a dedication to these men and those involved in broader German resistance attempts.
Haus Der Wannsee Konferenz
Image via Flickr by nagerw
A great haunting during World War II took place inside Haus Der Wannsee Konferenz: the decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The highest members of the Nazi regime made this decision within the walls of the estate, which now serves as memorial to this tragic and horrific event. The estate documents the event itself and the horrific crimes committed afterward.
The Holocaust Memorial
Covering an area more than 62,000 feet, the Holocaust Memorial is a monument comprising 2,711 concrete blocks of various sizes, laid out individually on a rolling background, gradually increasing in size as they move toward the center. A fraction of light is allowed to penetrate through, and a maze of paths gives visitors a sense of “getting lost” among the blocks. Combined with the lack of light, visitors can feel a strange sense as they walk among the blocks. The Memorial allows each visitor to form a unique interpretation of what it represents, as well as their own feelings.
Located close to the Holocaust Memorial, Hitler’s former bunker, which was also the site of his death, attracts a large crowd of World War II enthusiasts. But if you add this spot to your itinerary, you may be disappointed: All that is left of Hitler’s bunker is located beneath a car park. The bunker itself has been excavated and removed. However, a small plaque still marks the spot and allows visitors a brief reflection.
Topography of Terror
Housed in the former Gestapo offices, the Topography of Terror is a museum and exhibition center. The building was abandoned after the war, and discovered when the Wall was taken down. Gruesome torture cellars were found in the cellar. A permanent exhibition was created to chronicle the growth of National Socialism. It dissects all of the mechanics that got it to power and kept Hitler in charge.
Take a tour of Berlin’s numerous underground tunnels, bunkers, and passageways via Berliner Unterwelten. These tunnels were built and used in World War II to house high-ranking Nazi officials, and flak towers built under Hitler’s command to shoot down enemy aircraft. Stay at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski to be centrally located near all of Berlin’s historic sites.
This guided tour of Berlin will give you a more realistic sense of World War II.