Berlin WWII Nazi History Tour: Topography of Terror

Explore the legacy of Berlin's tragic past
From US$512 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • Reich Main Security Office
  • Former Luftwaffe Headquarters
  • Site of Hitler's Bunker
  • Reichstag exterior
Photos & Highlights
  • Nazi Berlin tour visits key sites, including the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • Led by a local historian
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Tour Description
On this three-hour Berlin Nazi tour, led by a history expert, we will explore the years between 1933 and 1945 when Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party steered Germany into war and terror. Visiting some of the most important sites in Nazi Germany's capital, we will examine the rise of the Third Reich, the horrors and tragedies of their regime, and the events and circumstances that led to their fall. Our tour will include visits to the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag exterior, the Topography of Terror museum, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

We’ll begin our tour at the iconic columns of the Brandenburg Gate, from where we are able to look down the Strasse des 17. Juni, one of the main boulevards in the proposed designs for Berlin’s urbanization as the capital of the Third Reich. Traveling a few short blocks, we’ll end up at the memorial of the central tragedy of the Nazi regime: Peter Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This controversial and enigmatic monument—a grid of hundreds of towering concrete blocks—will provide us with a context to discuss the historical events of the Holocaust, as well as an opportunity to touch on the complexities of the Jewish experience both during and after World War II. As we walk through the former government quarter of Berlin we will pass many other sites, memorials, and works of architecture that will help us confront the realities of Nazi rule, including the former site of Hitler’s Chancellery, the (now built-over) location of the Führerbunker, the former Reich Ministry of Aviation (Luftwaffe), and other major offices that orchestrated the war.

For visitors who would like to delve further into the history of the Holocaust: consider our Sachsenhausen tour, a trip to a nearby former concentration camp, or learn more about Jewish life, culture, and history on our Jewish Berlin Tour.

We'll conclude outside the Topography of Terror exhibition at the site of the former Gestapo and SS headquarters. This exhibition represents a self-conscious effort in the city to confront its Nazi legacy. Instead of trying to make a final statement about the horrors of Germany’s past, this site is committed to active engagement and to making history vivid and comprehensible. The exhibition is available to visit after the walk’s conclusion. By the end of our three hours together, we will have encountered the ghostly spaces of Berlin’s tragic past, not in an attempt to sensationalize or historicize the Third Reich, but in order to forge a connection to the present and understand how this history still shapes Berlin and Germany today.

FAQ

What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.


What is a small group tour?
Our small group tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. 

Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The walk begins near the Brandenburg Gate. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map. The walk ends near the Topography of Terror exhibition.


What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your guide will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.


Will this walk visit the Topography of Terror exhibition?
The walk finishes outside the exhibition, which is available to visit afterward independently. Due to guiding restrictions, we aren't able to include the interior of the exhibition on the tour.


Is this walk recommended for children?
Our group walks are open to children 13 years and up, while there is no age limit on private walks. Due to the nature of the subject matter, this walk may not be suitable for families. We have compiled resources for families wishing to prepare their children to learn about the Holocaust while in Berlin; we also offer a family program for those looking for an experience to engage visitors of all ages.


Is there any geographical overlap between The Story of Berlin and this walk?
Yes. Because Berlin's city center is filled with important historical sites, especially from the period of World War II, the two walks tread over similar ground but use a different thematic lens. We suggest choosing between the two walks. 


Where You'll Start
(4.8) 192 Reviews

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Such a good decision to engage Sven to guide us! There is so much to learn about Berlin's exceptional history.
Aaron was fantastic, informative, took time to answer any & all questions we had and really brought the history of Berlin alive for us.
Aaron was fantastic and not only a wealth of knowledge but also very warm, friendly, and funny. He made our tour so enjoyable for myself and my 13 year old daughter. I will return for more tours with Aaron.