Jewish Berlin History Tour

Explore the long and diverse history of Jews in Berlin
From US$441 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt
  • New Synagogue
  • Rosenstrasse Memorial
Photos & Highlights
  • Discusses 800-year history of Berlin’s Jewish population
  • Led by a social or cultural historian
Select a date
Tour Description
This 3-hour Jewish Berlin tour led by a local historian explores the triumphs and sorrows of Jewish thinkers, artists, public figures, and common people who have long called this Berlin home. It includes visits to the New Synagogue and Berlin's Jewish Quarter and traces the 800-year history of Berlin’s Jewish population.

Please note: The Otto-Weidt-Blindenwerkstatt is closing for renovations from 1 January - 1 May 2023. Your guide will adjust the itinerary accordingly.

Jewish Berlin Tour

Jews first arrived in medieval Berlin in the 13th century, when the city was still a provincial town along the swampy lands of the river Spree. Our walk begins in the ruined foundations of the Old Synagogue at Heidereutergasse, which becomes our stage for constructing an image of Jewish history during the Medieval and Renaissance periods.


From here we will make our way to the neighborhood once known as the Scheunenviertel (“Barn Quarter”), the center of Berlin Jewish life from the 18th century onwards. Passing numerous significant sites—including synagogues, schools, and the old Jewish cemetery—we will stroll the streets that were buzzing with activity during West Berlin's golden age when Max Reinhardt staged his plays, Arnold Schoenberg and Kurt Weill composed their music, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury painted their great works, and Jews in diverse industries became part of the vital fabric of Berlin.

20th Century

As we trace this history, however, we will also discuss the growth of anti-Semitism during the same period, which burst to the surface after the ascendance of the Nazis in 1933 (for more on this, see our Berlin Nazi tour). We'll seek out several memorial installations to the Holocaust, including the Missing House graphic, the Abandoned Room at Koppenplatz, and some of the city’s 1,400 Stolpersteine (“stumbling blocks”). Woven into the city, these memorials commemorate the residents of Berlin—members of the city’s society who had their dignity, rights, and very lives taken from them.

Please note: the Neue Synagoge is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. If you wish to do this tour on one of these days, we will visit the Synagoge from the exterior.

FAQ

Is this walk suitable for those with mobility issues? 
Although this walk covers quite a bit of ground, there are many opportunities for a rest along the route: public benches at the Rosenstrasse-memorial, the cemetery, Koppenplatz, as well as inside the Otto-Weidt-Museum, Hackesche Höfe, the Girls School, and the New Synagogue. All of the interior venues are equipped with elevators.


Does this tour visit the Jewish Museum? 
Due to guiding restrictions at the museum itself, we are not able to include the interior of the Jewish Museum. Clients booking private experiences are welcome to request the inclusion of the museum exterior as part of their itinerary.
Where You'll Start
(4.78) 101 Reviews

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excellent tour, so much valuable info and tailored to my interests. Finn is the best! Highly recommended
I cannot recommend this tour more, whether you have little to no knowledge of the topic or you grew up in a Jewish home attending Jewish school. John tailored the tour based on what we already understood about the Jewish community in Berlin and greater Germany and gave us excellent insight into what makes this topic essential to any visit to Berlin. We did the tour in the afternoon, after having spent the morning at the Jewish museum, which was actually a great way to do it. I was nervous about it being a very heavy day, perhaps even repetitive, but it was just fascinating. John answered our questions, and kept things moving the whole time. He even went over the time because he was so excited to show us a couple more spots that we hadn’t made it to yet given our own questions and interest in more niche topics. He knows SO much about the history of Jews in Germany and greater Europe, it was really a pleasure to meet him. Just can’t recommend this tour and John more!
Excellent your and guide.