History - World War II, Berlin
On 16 January 1945 Hitler went into the bunker while the rest of Berlin was being pounded by bombings of US and Britain. He never came up again alive but committed suicide with his Eva, and they both were brought up and burned then buried someplace.
At the end of the street of this photo is where Hitler's Bunker is rumored to be. Some have denied this, others confirm it. One reporter said she was allowed in and saw everything there some years ago, but the government wanted everything to be removed visibly so no one like the neo-Nazis could make a memorial to it. Some though still leave flowers here. Flats and a recreation area were simply build over it.
Here is the plaque that tells of the terrible book burning in May 1933. Its in Bebelplatz across from the famous university Humboldt and just on St. Hedwig´s Cathedral. Also in this square you can see through a glass window on the ground the empty shelves which would have held all the books that were burned that night by crazy zealots.
Ironic this place was built by Fredrich II to honor science, art and political power then used by Nazis to burn many books which told of other political powers and things that party did not agree with.
This tip is been updated in the following, as currently the area is being changed.
This is a museum detailing the horrors of the Nazi regime. It's on the site of the (now demolished) former Gestapo headquarters, beneath a surviing part of the Berlin wall in Niederkirchestrasse. Well worth a visit.
A statue of a mother holding a dead or dying son is in the center of the building which has an opening in the ceiling always to let in the light or whatever weather. Its very sober in this place as it should be, voices are low, and flowers often are laid here.
The website link is an interesting one. If you are looking to see if you have family member or friends who were victims, you can put their name in the database. Its huge. Its against forgetting anyone at all.
It is being built I was told but there was many debates about getting the 23 million € needed to create this memorial, and whether Berlin needed another of this kind when already many museums to war victims and everything. Also because it is only to the Jewish victims when so many others were target like Gypsies, gays, communists and Jehovah witness groups, why give such a huge memorial only to Jews? I dont have any answer, but it is to an important part of Berlin when its finished.
Its a just a few minutes walk from Brandenburg Gate, in the centre of Berlin. Like tombstones covering the ground one can have a small impression of how very many lifes were taken. Again its a sobering thing.
**Update on this tip: this memorial still continues to cause protest from both sides of the argument. Is is difficult situation. Horrible history of course, and must never be forgotten, but the question is demanded by some, especially Neo-Nazis, why is there being this "cult of guilt" against Germans continuing. Don´t agree with the movement, but its a good question. Here is one of the later articles about it from NPR:
Holocaust Memorial In Berlin
This was a vibrant jewish community since 1844 until the Nazi's came to power. There are a few memorials to Holocaust victims on Grosse Hamburger Strasse. One is the names of victims who lived in this area on the side of a couple of apartment complexes.Another is right in front of the old Jewish cemetery. It is of jewish victims that are waiting for the trains on a platform that will take them to any of the death camps under the Nazi's. The tiles on the floor are positioned in a way that they look like train tracks. It also shows the victims as already being malnourished and with the few rags of clothes on their backs.
The other memorial is of the Jewish cemetery itself that was destroyed by the gestapo in 1943 with the bones being disposed of. It is now a garden with plaques commemorating all the dead. They are all very sombre and rightfully so because the world should never forgot this dark chapter in its history.
Visit the free Topography of Terror-exhibition.
This is a very thorough exhibition about the Holocaust, and what came before and after it, with lots and lots of documents and pictures. It's all in German but I think you can get an English translation.
Sachsenhausen...concentration camp. A very important place for a history buff or any humanitarian. It is not what I would call a 'FUN' place to go, but a place I am glad I saw...and I will NOT forget what happened.
It is a terrible place where many people were killed during the war. Terrible awful deaths. Much has been preserved, many photographs showing the time & era. It is an uncomfortable feeling while you are there, but, I am so glad I went so it is a part of me.
Moving back in time a little bit, we have the German War Memorial. This moving statue, set inside the former Imperial Armory, is dedicated to all those killed or injured in any war in which Germany has been involved in. Politically correct, yes, but moving nonetheless. The statue sits under an opening in the dome. When it snows, the mother and child are covered in snow. When the sun shines, it beats down upon them. When it rains, the tears roll down her cheeks.
'Heaving bearing body'
Dreaming of Germania Hitler had this built in 1941. The idea behind the 12,650 tonnes of concrete was that if it sank fewer than 6cm the soil would be considered as acceptable on which to go about building the meglamaniacal Germanian arch of triumph! It sank 18cm!
At the end of WWII it was decided that the cylinder could not be blown up because it is in a residential area.
The structure is 59ft tall. That was the height that the road would have been! Madness!
There is not really much to see, other than the craziness of the cylinder itself. There is a set of step opposite the cylinder so that you can see it from the top - to get a littl emore perspective on the size! There are some rusting pieces of equipment etc... inside the cylinder.
Visiting the concrete, going inside it and up the steps is free.
It can be combined with a trip to the Former SA prison as all are within former Prussian army estate.
Opening: Tuesday, Wednesday: 14 -18 hrs Thursday: 10 - 18 hrs
Sunday 13 - 16 hrs
On 1 May and 17 May the heavy load body 10 to 18 clock is open
Just around the corner from the Reichstag are two russian tanks, which were the first to enter Berlin. These tanks flank the Soviet war memorial, erected in 1945. The 8m Red Army soldier has his rifle slung over his shoulder as a sign that the war is over.
This memorial used to have East German guards in attendance and has around 2,500 soldiers that were killed in action in Berlin buried in the memorial.
The story goes that the Germans will not ask for it to be moved as a mark of respect and also because Russia is allowing the
Deutsche Volksbund Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Grave Commission) to do
carry on it's work in the territories of the former Soviet Union in establishing hallowed resting grounds for German war dead from the Second World War.
A monument remembering the Russian soldiers, the Monument is flankes by the first Russian Tanks to enter Berlin in 1945...
It's only a three minute walk from the Brandenburger Tor...
I do not know much of this memorial, but I do seem to remember that it was erected for the Russian soldiers that died here during battle.
The Soviet War Memorial is in Treptower Park, about 10 minutes walk from the S-Bahn station of the same name. I visited on a snowy January day, when it was deserted...
As you go around, particularly it seemed, in what was East Berlin, look at the buildings - there are many scars left from WWII - this photo shows many bullet holes.