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10 days and history mad teen

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London, United...
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10 days and history mad teen

Am of to Berlin with my 17 year old in August for 10 days .He is particularly interested in the war years and the cold war but is open minded .and likes History and Religion

We have booked the Reichstag tour already and planning to visit Sachusenhausen concentration camp as well as checkpoint Charlie , Brandenburg gate and Museum island

After information on the places that maybe not part of the main tourist so slightly unusual but still falling into the history/Religion section

Thank you

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1. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

I'm sure he would like this :


this : berlin.de/en/museums/3110603-3104050-ddr-mus…

and this : berlin.de/en/museums/3109393-3104050-stasimu…

Karlstad, Sweden
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2. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

..and also a visit to the Stasi prison Hohenschönhausen. More interesting than the museum, in my opinion.

" Tours of the prison are usually led by former inmates, who provide first-hand details on prison conditions and the interrogation methods employed by the GDR's Ministry of State Security (MfS)."


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3. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

With an interest in the World War II years, and the Third Reich, you should not miss the Topography of Terror. Allow plenty of time to explore the outdoor site as well as the documentation centre. A good half a day is all I usually have the stamina for, but after three such long visits I am still learning. There is an immense amount information about that period of history, all well displayed, in English as well as German, with large, evocative photographs, and audio material (worth queueing for earphones to hear Hitler and Goebbels ranting). If it's all too much to take in (it will be) all the material apart from the audio is available in a book to take home, for €18. It's huge and heavy, though.

Perhaps a visit to Sachsenhausen? That's an all-day commitment involving 1.5 hours travelling each way. Very worth while, and as you have 10 days, which is a really good amount of time, it could well be on your agenda.

Plötzensee, where opponents of the Nazi regime, including the 20 July 1944 conspirators, were executed, is not much visited. But it is one of the most harrowing memorial sites of all.

The Gleis 17 (Platform 17) memorial at Grunewald S-bahn station commemorates the deaths of the 10,000+ Berlin Jews who were shipped off to the extermination camps from this platform. This, for me, is the most moving of all the memorials in Berlin: far more so than the enormous but somehow soulless Memorial to the Murdered Jews of German (aka Holocaust Memorial) in the centre.

There are two excellent small museums at 39 Rosenthaler Platz, next door to the Hackescher Höfe should be visited if you have time. The Otto Weidt Workshop, where the eponymous proprietor employed blind and disabled Jews, protected and hid them, and helped some to escape, and the Silent Heroes Memorial next door, where the efforts of brave German citizens to help their fellow Jewish citizens are movingly detailed.

Finally (though there is so much more) I agree with Saltydog that Hohensch önhausen is more interesting and more thought-provoking than the Stasi museum at Magdalenenstrasse, especially if your guide is one of the former inmates, but even if not: the others are knowledgeable, passionate students of the history of those years.

Stuttgart, Germany
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4. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

You also have time to go out to Potsdam, as well as the usual Sans Soucci there is the Cecilienhof. This is where the Potsdam conferance took place …navy.mil/photos/…potsdam.htm Half of the palace is now a hotel. So after seeing the museum go into the hotel for coffee and cake or lunch

Barcelona, Spain
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5. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

There are two visits in Cecilienhof, one upstairs to the private chambers of the Royal couple, where you do get to look down at the table where the Agreement was signed) and the second is of the part of the ground floor with the offices the signatories used included in the visit . Quite by chance, we actually did that tour the week my son had done the Potsdam Agreement at school ( he only mentioned it when we were there!).

As you have 10 days you might include the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park, it is very impressive (a huge monumental ensemble).

You may know the memorial to the Kindertransport at Liverpool Street Station (an interesting article here with background) themigrationist.net/2014/…

It has its counterpart at Friedrichstrasse station (Trains to Life, Trains to Death).Background on the Berlin one. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187323-i135-k5865…

The Friedrichstrasse monument is mentioned in this very long and detailed Trip Report, from which I learned (after all the tims I've walked past it!) that there is an explanatory panel about it on the wall. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187323-i135-k5862…

Do get your son to read Kayleigh's report, I'm sure it will give you lots more ideas

Also at Friedrichstrasse station (the other side of the station) is the Tränenepalast, the Palace of Tears where travellers were processed crossing between East and West Berlin. There is now a very interesting exhibition, in the original building hdg.de/fileadmin/…

as well as Checkpoint Charlie go to Bernauer Strasse where the open-air exhibit and the information centre of the Berlin Wall memorial Site show you the impact of the Wall on one neighbourhood in Berlin. www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/

Near there, at Gesundbrunnen Station is the HQ of Berliner Unterwelten which does bunker tours. http://berliner-unterwelten.de/home.1.1.html

The DDR-Museum is very good about different aspects of life in the GDR, it's "interactive" so more hands-on than German museums generally are. http://www.ddr-museum.de/en

Edited: 29 May 2014, 17:51
Houston, Texas
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6. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

Make sure you do the Topography of Terror if you are interested in WWII history, as well as take the Third Reich tour from either of the following companies.




Also do a tour here.






Seattle area
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7. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

Your son might get a lot out of an autobiography written by a man who spent his boyhood in that era.

It gives a real sense of time and place.

Requiem for a German Past; by Jurgen Herbst

London, United...
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8. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

Thank you for everyones excellent suggestions .We are planning going through them and coming up with a definite must do`s and a if we have time list .But feeling we are going be on the go a lot

Gambrills, MD
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9. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

On the way to Potsdam, you could walk over the Glienicke Bridge, where Cold War era spies were exchanged.

Banbury, UK
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10. Re: 10 days and history mad teen

Some more suggestions

The Ghost Train Exhibition at Nordbahnhof S-Bahn Station

The Forced Labour Camp at Schöneweide


The Jewish Museum


The Olympic Stadium


Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe


Soviet Memorial Schönholzer Heide


The Allied Museum


The German/Russian Museum


German Resistance Memorial Centre


Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church


The House of the Wannsee Conference