Overview: The Third Reich is the common term for the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945. A dictatorship ruled by Adolf Hitler and his party, the... more »
The Third Reich is the common term for the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945. A dictatorship ruled by Adolf Hitler and his party, the... more » National Socialist German Workers' Party: NSDAP (in German, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). Berlin was the capital, seat of the Chancellery and Reich Ministries, and home of the people who orchestrated the Holocaust and World War II. With this guide you can follow the traces of some of the darkest days in German history.
A few important dates:
* Jan. 30, 1933: Adolf Hitler became head of the government of Germany; he was appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg.
* Sept. 1, 1939: The Nazis invaded Poland and started WW II.
* April 30, 1945: Hitler committed suicide.
* May 8, 1945: Day of Capitulation, the German Reich unconditionally surrendered. less «
Tips: Getting there: Get off at bus stop Gedenkstätte Dt. Widerstand (M29) or take a 15-minute walk from Potsdamer Platz.
The Bendlerblock was erected between 1911 and 1914 for the Reich Navy Office. It was associated with the highest branches of the German military. During the Third Reich it housed elements of the Navy operations staff and the office for foreign affairs.
The military resistance was formed in the Bendlerblock as well. Gen. Friedrich Olbricht was... More responsible for the 1944 Valkyrie operation and Col. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg's attempt to kill Adolf Hitler.
The building is both a memorial to the German Resistance (in German: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand) and a museum to honor the people of the national resistance movement. It was here, in the former Army headquarters, that von Stauffenberg and other members of the July 20, 1944, murder attempt were executed.Less
The Japanese Embassy was planned by the architect Ludwig Moshauer and built between 1938 and 1942. Both Japan and Italy received impressive buildings with monumental architecture as a sign of the coalition between Berlin, Rome and Tokyo.
Per the plans of the Great Hall by Albert Speer, embassies in the neighborhood of the Reichstag were torn down... More. The Tiergartenstr became the new diplomats area.
This was the headquarters of the Charitable Foundation for Cure and Institutional Care (in German: Gemeinnützige Stiftung für Heil und Anstaltspflege). People who were developmentally or physically disabled or--in the view of the Nazis--deemed to be unworthy of life, were murdered. At least 200,000 defenseless people were systematically ... Morekilled by order of the "euthanasia decree" written by Adolf Hitler. The program was named Action T4, like the address. A plaque set in the pavement marks the location and commemorates to the victims.
About 5,000 people were sentenced to death by the People's Court. The Judge-President Roland Freisler was the state secretary of Hitler's Reich Ministry of Justice and president of the People's Court. The entrance of the court was located here.
Between 1933 and 1945, the central institutions of Nazi persecution and terror were located on the grounds of the present-day "Topography of Terror." Since 1987, the permanent exhibition "Topography of Terror" has informed the public about this historic site.
The new Documentation Center and the redesigned historic grounds... More were opened in May 2010. The focus of the exhibition is the SS and police in the Third Reich as well as the crimes they perpetrated throughout Europe.
There are three exhibitions to see. In addition to the documentation center and "Topography of Terror," outside are traces of the cellar of the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais, a permanent exhibition about Berlin between 1933 and 1945. The third part is a walk across the grounds with more history detailed: Fifteen stations display information and remnants from the Third Reich.
Allow about an hour or so to tour this site.
The Ministry of Aviation (in German: Reichsluftfahrtministerium) was built between 1935 and 1945 and designed by Ernst Sagebiel, who also designed the airport Tempelhof. It was one of the first building projects of the Nazi government. With 2,000 rooms, it hosted the administration of the German Air Force (in German: Deutsche Luftwaffe). The... More commander-in-chief was Hermann Göring.
Under the German Democratic Republic, different ministries have been housed here, but since 1999 it has served as the home for the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Some scenes in the film "Valkyrie" (starring Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg) were shot here.Less
During WW II this station was destroyed, but it reopened in 1950 and was renamed from Kaiserhof to Thälmannplatz.
Why is this station on a tour of the Third Reich? The red marble on the inside walls was taken from the former Mosaic Hall of the (New) Reichs Chancellery, from which Adolf Hitler ruled.
When the GDR erected the Berlin Wall in ... More1961 it was the final stop of line 2 of East-Berlin. After the reunification the stop got its current name, Mohrenstraße.Less
Albert Speer, the favorite architect of Adolf Hitler, built the New Reich Chancellery in three year. Finished in 1939, the building measured 421 meters long and was meant to represent Hitler's power and the importance of the new capital. The chancellery was a key part of the plans for the new city, named Germania. From this vantage point, you are ... Morealmost midway down the length of the building. It covered the entire Voßstraße. Visitors had to cross the gallery rooms and a court before they reached Hitler's office, which measured almost 400 square meters.
In 1948, the Soviet Union decided to destroy the remaining parts of the building, taking with them the marble that had been there for different purposes: the red for the underground station and the white for the Soviet War Memorial. After reunification, parts of the original basement were uncovered, but today there is nothing left of the government building.Less
There is only a hint of the location of the Führer Bunker. Here, 12 meters below ground level, are the 4-meter-thick side walls and ceiling that served as Hitler's bunker. You will find an information board with a map of the ground floor of the structure.
The bunker was the last command center of the Third Reich. It is here that Adolf Hitler... More committed suicide with his wife Eva Braun on April 30, 1945.Less
This site serves as a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, ordered by a resolution of the German Bundestag in 1999.
The memorial consists of a field of 2,711 stelae (tombstones) and an information center underneath. It was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and opened in May 2005.
The memorial sits in the same spot where the death strip... More behind the Berlin Wall marked the border of the GDR between 1961 and 1989. Before WWII the Reich's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had an office villa on the land; three years later he had a bunker.
Field of Stelae
Daily 24 hours
Closed public holidays
The Brandenburg Gate is the representative entrance to the historical part of Berlin. The gate is a sandstone structure erected between 1788 and 1791; it was designed by architect Carl Gotthard Langhans. In 1794 the gate was "crowned" with the sculpture quadriga and the goddess of victory, created by Johann Gottfried Shadow.
When the... More GDR set up the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Brandenburg Gate was just a few meters behind it. For 28 years it stood in plain view from both sides, but only reachable on one. In 1987 then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan made his famous speech in front of the gate imploring then-Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev to take down the wall. "Mr. Gorbachev," Regan said, "open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"Less
The first Soviet war memorial in Berlin was erected in November 1945. It is located precisely at the point where Albert Speer (main architect of the Third Reich) planned the cross of two axes. The east-west axe you see here starts at the Brandenburg Gate and continues the other way behind the victory column. It is around 6.5 miles (10 kilometers) ... Morelong. Due to the start of WWII, the north-south axe was never built.
The memorial shows an oversized soldier of the Red Army standing on a colonnade. The granite used was taken from the New Chancellery of Hitler. In front are two T34 Soviet tanks. The park behind the colonnade serves as a burial ground for about 2,200 Soviet soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Berlin.
When Berlin was split into east and west, the memorial was on the west, preventing people from the east from visiting it.Less
The Reichstag was designed by architect Paul Wallot and built between 1884 and 1894 in the style of the Italian High Renaissance. It served as seat of parliament in the Kaiserreich and the Weimarer Republic. In 1933, a fire of unknown origin destroyed the plenary chamber. It is unclear whether it was an accident or set by national socialists to... More secure power. The last battle of WWII ruined the building.
In 1948, 300,000 inhabitants of West Berlin assembled in front of the Reichstag to demonstrate against the Berlin blockade by the Soviets. Ernst Reuter, the mayor of West Berlin, made an open plea to the international community for help. After reunification, the parliament voted for Berlin and the Reichstag to serve as the new seat of the Bundestag (the German government). In 1995, the artist Christo used the building for an art project still known worldwide as "Wrapped Reichstag" because he packed the entire building in silver fabric. Between 1995 and 1999 the building was rebuilt and renovated by architect Norman Foster. Since, 1999 the Reichstag has served as the seat of the parliament.
The glass dome and the roof terrace are open to the public, but you have to book a tour in advance.