Day by day:
We meet at our centrally located hotel in Munich at 2pm. After a short briefing, we set off on foot through the city. We begin in an area where the Nazi Party had its headquarters, extending over more than 30 buildings. Most of these are still in existence, including Hitler’s own huge secretariat, Führerbau, where the Munich Agreement was negotiated and signed in 1938. This area is also the site of the Munich Documentation Center for National Socialism, opened in 2015 on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the city from the Nazi regime by American troops. We will visit the center, after which you will have the rest of the day at your disposal until dinner at a typical German restaurant.
We drive to Berchtesgaden through the beautiful Bavarian landscape in southern Germany. We take a special bus up to the ‘Eagle’s Nest’, built on a mountain top. The Eagle’s Nest was a gift to the Führer from the people on his 50th birthday in 1939. We take Hitler’s own elevator up to the top. The building is intact and now houses a restaurant with a fantastic view. In 1945 the building was taken by E Company of the 101st Airborne, as seen in one of the episodes of Band of Brothers. In the vicinity of the village of Obersalzberg lay Hitler’s Berghof, where he often spent time and where innumerable visiting celebrities were photographed. The building is now gone and in its place trees have been planted so densely that it is impossible for neo-Nazis to create a memorial. We visit the site of the former Berghof and drive past the houses of some other top people in Nazi Germany, such as Göring, Speer and Bormann – though there are not many of these left as most have been demolished. We also visit a museum, with access to a small part of the enormous tunnel and cave complex that was blasted out of the rock beneath Obersalzberg, the famous Alpine Castle. Most of it now stands under water, is closed or has been blown up. We visit the part that is open to the public. From Berchtesgaden we return to Munich, where we will have dinner.
We take a tour of the city. We see Feldherrenhalle, where Hitler’s putsch in 1923 was suppressed and where the Nazi Party’s first ‘heroes’ fell. We see Munich’s Nazi headquarters Gauhaus and the university’s hall where the Scholl siblings from the resistance group ‘White Rose’ were arrested. After lunch we leave Munich and drive north. We visit the Dachau concentration camp, the SS’ model camp used to train concentration camp personnel. Much has disappeared, but the wing with cells for prominent prisoners still exists, as does the entrance and the crematorium. Most of the prisoners’ barracks are marked out on the ground with stones. One barrack has been reconstructed to give an impression of conditions in the camp. From Dachau we continue to Nuremberg where we will spend two nights at a central hotel in the city. We will have dinner at a large German restaurant with its own brewery and bar.
We begin the day with a visit to ‘Reichsparteitagsgelände’, the area where Nazi party members met for important party days. We see Zeppelinfeld, where many of the parades took place and where much is preserved. We see the large congress building, intended to hold more than 50,000 people, but never fully completed. We visit the museum in the building and take a walk around the area, where we will see the Luitpold Arena and much more. In the afternoon we visit the court room where the Nuremberg war crime trials of Nazi Germany’s leaders took place after the war. In the late afternoon there will be the opportunity to take a walk through Nuremberg’s old town center, which has been rebuilt after its almost total destruction during the war. We will again eat dinner in a typical German restaurant.
We leave Nuremberg and head for Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany, where some of the party’s greatest triumphs were celebrated and where Germany’s tragedy unfolded in the final days of the war. We arrive in Potsdam just outside Berlin in the early afternoon. Here we drive to Cecilienhof. Cecilienhof was build for the son of the last German Emperor, Wilhelm II. The crown price lived here untill 1945. We will be given a guided tour of the German Crown Prince’s home which, after WWII, was used for the Potsdam Conference between Churchill, Truman and Stalin. It was here that the map of Europe was decided, the map that created the Cold War. We visit the room where the conference took place. It is preserved exactly as it appeared in 1945. On our way to the center of Berlin, where we will stay we pass the famous Glinecke bridge where spies were exchanged during the Cold War. From here we go to our hotel. In the evening we dine at one of Berlin’s many fine restaurants.
We drive to the Reichstag building. From here we walk via the Brandenburg Gate through the government area and past the monument to Europe’s murdered Jews. After this we will see the location of Hitler’s bunker, walk past Göring’s former Aviation Ministry and on to Topographie des Terrors, a new museum about the crimes of the SS, the Gestapo and the Security Service. It is located where the Gestapo and the Security Service had their headquarters. In the afternoon we drive to the Olympic Stadium from 1936. This was the scene for one of Adolf Hitlers greates propaganda successes. Nazi Germany impressed the whole world with its organization, skill and precision and the Worlds first TV transmissions from sports events. The stadium survived the war and is still today an example of Nazi architecture. From here we will return to our hotel before dinner.
We go with our bus on a city tour that takes us to some of the central and famous places from Nazi and post-war times. We will see parts of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. Go to the former East Berlin and see some of the Communist architecture. We will pass Tempelhof Airport, once the biggest in Europe and Schöneberg City Hall where President Kennedy gave his famous ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech. In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to see Berlin on your own. In the evening we will dine at a nice restaurant for the last time on the tour.
We visit Bendlerblock in Stauffenbergstrasse, the former headquarters of the German Army. It was the center of the July 20th assassination attempt on Hitler. It was in Bendlerblock’s yard that Stauffenberg and the other conspirators were executed, and the German Resistance Memorial Center (documenting German resistance to the Nazis) has been established here. We conclude at Potsdammer Platz, Berlin’s busiest square in the 1930s. After 1945 it was an open field where the bombed buildings were not rebuilt, because the area lay close to East Berlin. Today, it is one of Berlin’s most modern and densely built-up areas. Check out of hotel.
(Optional) Extra night(s) at the hotel in Berlin
Please advise when you purchase the tour package if you wish to extend your stay in Berlin (either before or after the tour).