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History - World War II Tips (18)

Memorials - Jewish Cemetery (Gr. Hamburger Str.)

Favorite thing "Gedenkstätte Grosse Hamburger Strasse." This is a quiet wooded park on the site of what had been a major cemetery for Berlin's Jewish community. The sculptural memorial is dedicated to the 55,000 Jews deported to concentration camps from this site in 1943. Designed by Will Lammert (1892-1957).

Before the Nazi Era, Berlin had a famously large and flourishing Jewish community. The oldest Jewish cemetery in Berlin was on this street, and several other significant institutions were nearby: the "New" Synagogue, several schools, a home for the elderly. During the years of WWII, the cemetery was entirely desecrated, and the old-people's home served as the center for detaining and deporting the remaining Jews of the city.

yooperprof's Profile Photo
Dec 11, 2004

Treptower Park: Soviet Memorial

Favorite thing Admiring its architecture.

Fondest memory Visiting Treptower Park used to be a must for all Soviet citizens - this is what the hosts told us. We were taken to the memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers and officers who had fallen during the battles in and around Berlin in 1945.
It was very impressive to see all those monuments and tombs of the fallen soldiers and officers.
I haven't been there since, but I hope the memorial looks nice now.

hunterV's Profile Photo
Jul 16, 2014

Memorials - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Favorite thing Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was one of the "non-conforming" pastors imprisoned for refusing to "toe the line" of German religious policy in the Nazi era. He was also one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, a pioneer of "social-based" theology and an important influence upon Martin Luther King Jr., among others.

Bonhoeffer was implicated in the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, and in 1945 he was executed at Buchenwald. After the war, Bonhoeffer's body - and those of other conspirators - was re-interred in central Berlin's Dorotheenstädtischer cemetery.

yooperprof's Profile Photo
Jan 11, 2005

Bebl platz - No books!!!

Favorite thing see bookshelves containing no books!!!
You can look thgrough at the centre of the square - a glass panel through which can be seen a room lined with empty, white bookshelves.

It was 10th May 1933 Bucherverbrennung (book burning), a propaganda event orchestrated by Hitler. The Nazis held their first official book burning there, incinerating works of authors who were on the anti-Nazi "index".

Audrey118's Profile Photo
Mar 03, 2003
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History of Berlin to 1976

Favorite thing At the beginning of the 13th century, the community of Coelln grew up on an island in the Spree. It is mentioned for the first time in a document dated 1237.

Berlin started on the right bank, later. In 1307, Coelln and Berlin merged into one city. In 1451, the castle of Coelln ad der Spree became the permanent residence of the Elector. In 1710, there were 56,000 inhabitants including 6,000 Huguenots (Protestant refugees from France), 500 Swiss and 500 from the Palatinate, and the city covered 182 acres. The Prussian "Soldier King," Frederick William I made Berlin the capitol of Prussia and his son Frederick the Great continued to make Berlin a center of culture in Europe.

Fondest memory Napoleon occupied Berlin in 1806, but the revolution of 1848 was short-lived and William I became emperor of the Second German Reich in 1871, with Berlin as its capital. All this was cut short by the First World War. After the war, Berlin became the capital of Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic, in the 1920s.

Berlin remained the capital of Germany during the Nazi era. Hitler even envisioned the city as 'Germania', the capital of a global empire. Berliners suffered under Nazi rule, especially the persecuted left-wing movements and the vast Jewish community. More than 60,000 Berlin Jews, nearly half of the city's population, died in the Holocaust. Thousands more fled the country.

By the end of World War II, Old Berlin had been reduced to a pile of rubble. Anything from before the war has probably been reconstructed. The Potsdam Agreement divided the city into four sectors, each of which was ruled by one of the Allies—the USA, USSR, Britain and France. The German Democratic Republic proclaimed East Berlin as its capital. And this was the way it remained when I visitd in 1976

DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo
Jul 06, 2008

Sowjetisches Ehrenmal

Favorite thing Also known as Soviet Memorial in English, the memorial is flanked by the first two Russian tanks (No 200 and No 300) to enter Berlin in 1945. Wow!!! When I shot pictures with the No 300 tank, I had no idea that he had such a glorious history. :-)

The reddish marble is said to have come from Hitler's Neue Reichskanzlei (New Chancellery).

JUNLI's Profile Photo
Sep 05, 2002

Berlin To Finally Start Holocaust Memorial

Favorite thing Well, I didn't really know where to add this, so I'll write it here. A while ago I've read that the Holocuast Memorial is expected to be opened in spring of 2005.
The memorial will feature 2752 concrete tablets spread out over a 19.000 square meter space. It is scheduled to open May 8, 2005 - the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war.
Oh yep, the architect is Peter Eisenman.

Mandy23's Profile Photo
Apr 10, 2003

A path to follow

Favorite thing Big and small marks of WWII are all over Berlin. Memorials about the Wall, about the jewish persecution, memorials about all death on WWII... You cannot forget it.

Fondest memory The contrast between the "old" and the new Berlin.

jaime.silva's Profile Photo
Apr 13, 2007
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"More than the capital of Germany"
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"Berlin, Berlin - wir fahren nach Berlin!"
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"Berlin in my way"
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To all victims of fashism and militarism

Favorite thing from 1960 till 1990 this building had the above inscription.

After the GDR era, they changed the words (cause the Westerners found it too
They also put in this statue of Kaethe Kollwitz, an artist who lived till 1945
and always expressed political, pacifistic views in her work.
The original of this statue is only a few centimeters high - many people say
that with this new enlargement it lost it's effect, and is doing the artist

flyingkiwi's Profile Photo
Sep 28, 2002

the city is full with...

Favorite thing the city is full with monuments to human stupidity and it's self destruction un controled desire.
at list it pays the artists bills...
it's the 'Neue Wache' (guard house).
located on the street 'Unter den Linden' (berlin's most beautiful one. the Neue Wache was built by Schinkel (famous architect, who's done a lot in berlin + area), in 1818. from 1931 on, it was used as a memorial for fallen soldiers in WW I, from the GDR for victims of fashism and militarism.
1993 they put in the enlarged sculpture of Kaethe Kollwitz (famous artist). it was highly discussed that they changed the inscripts (after the fall of the wall) and that they enlarged this originally very small sculpture.

inuit's Profile Photo
Aug 25, 2002

Treptower Park sounds...

Favorite thing Treptower Park sounds interesting in the guide and I tried to cover that as well. It's where the largest Soviet Monument erects, a grave site for thousands of Soviet soldiers who died in the war against Hitler. On top of the tomb at the far end of the park is a huge statue of a valiant, square-jawed Soviet soldier, clasping a child in one arm, and with the other smashing a swastika.

I hope this much of writings has not already bored you. But really Berlin, the capital of unified Germany, offers many interesting sites - historical and modern. Hundreds of cranes amid them, almost nowhere will stay the same. You oughtta be on your way there soon to see it rejuvenate.

Aug 25, 2002

Fondest memory 1815-1918 : Berlin sous l'Industrialisation et la marche vers l'Unité

1815 : Les troupes de Blücher participent à l'écrasement de Napoléon à Waterloo. Dorénavant, la Prusse fait partie des grandes puissances européennes.

Le Congrés de Vienne

La Prusse ne récupère pas les territoires perdus en Pologne lors du Congrès de Vienne, mais obtient une majeure partie de la Saxe (alliée de Napoléon) ainsi que la Rhénanie Westphalie. Cette ouverture à l'Ouest permet à la Prusse d'accélérer son industrialisation. Sur le plan stratégique, il appartient à la Prusse de prévenir toute aggression de la France (Wacht am Rhein).
La Confédération Germanique se substitue au Saint Empire et regroupe 39 états, dont la Prusse ; l'Autriche s'opposant à une Allemagne unifiée.
En lieu et place d'une monarchie constitutionnelle, réclamée par les artisans de la libération , Frédéric Guillaume III restaure l'ancien régime.


Les manufactures textiles et les premières industries sidérurgiques (Borsig et Siemens) s'implantent dans le Nord de Berlin (faubourgs d'Oranienburg) ou le long de la Spree à l'Est (Luisenstadt) ainsi qu'en aval de Charlottenburg (Moabit).

La période Biedermeier s'accompagne d'une formidable croissance économique et démographique. Berlin passe de 197 000 à 400 000 habitants.

1830 : Les manifestations populaires devant le château sont dispersées. L'impopularité du souverain grandit. La presse et l'université sont sous haute surveillance, car considérées comme des foyers de la pensée libérale. En 1834, le Zollverein - union douanière des Etats allemands - voit le jour sous l'impulsion de la Prusse. La rivalité avec l'Autriche se traduit par l'exclusion de cette dernière.

1838 : Première ligne de chemin de fer Berlin-Potsdam. L'industrie ferrovière se développe à Berlin avec la firme de locomotives Borsig. En 1844, la première exposition industrielle des états du Zollverein connaît un franc succès.

1844 - 1847 : Une sévère récession économique touche l'Europe entière. La Prusse, état le plus industrialisé d'Allemagne, en souffre particulièrement : un quart de la population vit dans la misère. La municipalité de berlin entreprend de grands travaux d'utilité publique, comme le creusement du Landwehrkanal, pour subvenir aux besoins des chômeurs.

1848 : La révolution berlinoise constitue un tournant dans l'histoire du royaume puisqu'il s'agit du premier mouvement ouvrier, et engendre le processus d'unification des états allemands.

La Marche vers l'Unité

Les citoyens réunis au Tiergarten exigent du roi les libertés fondamentales. Les manifestants se massent devant le château et les rues avoisinantes de l'hôtel de ville se hérissent de barricades. La troupe se retire, mais le mouvement révolutionnaire divisé, échoue. Le Général Wrangel prend possession de Berlin le 10 Novembre 1848 et instaure l'Etat de siège.

1848 -1870 : La Prusse rattrape son retard économique sur la France. Près de 2/3 des Berlinois travaillent dans l'industrie. La chimie devient un important secteur économique, notamment avec le pharmacien Schering qui mettra sur pied un véritable empire. Le rapprochement entre la banque et l'industrie donne naissance au grand capitalisme.

1858 - 1861 : Atteint de folie, Frédéric Guillaume IV est contraint de laisser la régence à son frère qui règnera sous le nom de Guillaume I. Ce dernier se montre plus souple vis à vis de l'opposition et lève en partie la censure de la presse. Le mouvement libéral, partisan d'une constitution, remporte la majorité au Parlement prussien en 1861.

1862 : Otto von Bismark est nommé chancelier. L'Unité allemande devient un sujet qui passionne l'opinion publique. Un plan d'urbanisation, portant le nom d'Holbrecht, vise à canaliser l'expansion de la capitale : les Mietskasernen commencent à être construites.

1864 : L'Affaire des Duchés (Schleswig, du Holstein et du Lauenburg) permet à la Prusse - après une courte guerre - de prendre possession de la moitié des territoires disputés. L'Autriche contrôle les territoires restants, donnant à Bismark un casus belli de premier choix à l'encontre de la monarchie danubienne.

1866 : Malgré une forte réticence intérieure, Bismark décide d'en découdre avec l'Autriche et l'écrase à Sadowa, grâce à une puissante armée réorganisée par le général von Moltke. La Confédération d'Allemagne du Nord voit le jour en 1867. Cette union présidée par la Prusse réunit l'ensemble des états allemands hormis ceux du Bade, du Wurtemberg, de la Bavière et de Hesse Darmstadt.

1870 - 1871 : L'essor de la Prusse inquiète la France. Napoléon III, influencé par son état major, se lance dans un conflit avec légèreté et paye le prix fort à Sedan, où son armée est anéantie. C'est la chute de l'Empire français, tandis que l'Empire allemand est proclamé le 18 janvier 1871 dans la galerie des glaces du château de Versailles.
La France perd l'Alsace et la Moselle qui deviennent Terres d'Empire (Reichsland) et doit payer une indemnité de 5 millirds de francs or. L'Empire allemand est à présent la plus grande puissance du Vieux Contient.


1871 : Berlin compte 870 000 habitants.

1873 : Les années qui suivent la victoire, dites de Fondation (Gründerjahre), sont une période de boom économique et de spéculation. Il s'en suivra un krach boursier entraînant une stagnation dans l'Europe entière jusqu'en 1890.

1876 : Le plan Hobrecht améliore l'hygiène publique.

1888 : 'Année des Trois Empereurs' Guillaume I décède, Frédéric III lui succède pendant 90 jours, et avènement de Guillaume II.

1890 : Bismark se retire en raison de ses profonds désaccords avec l'empereur Guillaume II. L'Allemagne se lance dans les conquêtes coloniales et se heurte aux zones d'influence françaises (Maroc) et aux intérêts britanniques, menacés par le développement de la flotte impériale sous la direction de l'amiral von Tirpitz.

1912 : Berlin compte 2 millions d'habitants.

1914 - 1918 : La mobilisation générale déclenche l'enthousiasme, mais retombe très vite lorsque le conflit commence à s'enliser. La population subit les conséquences du blocus maritime orchestré par la Royal Navy.
Après l'arrêt de l'offensive générale de Luddendorf au printemps 1918, les perspectives d'une victoire sur les alliés s'estompe. L'entrée en guerre des Etats-Unis a renversé le cours de la guerre. En Novembre 1918, les marins de la Baltique se mutinent à Kiel et sonnent le glas de l'Empire. L'armistice est signé le 11 Novembre, deux jours après l'abdication de Guillaume II qui s'exile aux Pays-Bas.


khalid_2's Profile Photo
Aug 24, 2002

Things To Do in Berlin

Things to do

Berliner Dom - Berlin Cathedral

The next building that I liked after visiting the Neue Wache was Berlin Cathedral. This is located on Museum Island. It was completed in 1905. There is a garden outside it which is known as the...
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Neue Wache - New Guardhouse

The Neue Wache is located on Unter den Linden. I had researched Unter den Linden prior to our visit and was quite excited about walking along it. This excitement proved to be misplaced as at the...
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Staatsoper - Opera

This venerable opera house has been the scene of some very lively and innovative productions in recent years, for instance Rinaldo by Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759). This production was not only...
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Things to do

Humboldt University

This famous university isn’t a visitor attraction in the true sense of the word, but its historic background makes it more than worthy of a review. The main building is situated in Unter den Linden...
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DDR Museum

On our tourist map we saw a marking for the DDR Museum and quickly added it to our itinerary. DDR stands for Deutsche Demokratische Republik, otherwise known as East Germany. The DDR Museum is...
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Museum Island - Alte Nationalgalerie

Actually there are three museums "Galeries" displaying paintings (and sculptures) in Berlin. This one called "Alte" is the oldest for the building built around 1870 on the Museumsinsel but not for the...
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Getting to Berlin


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