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In the last 100 years, few cities have had such a tumultuous history as Berlin.   It can be hard to explore Berlin without running into something with significant historical context relating to the war. You can expect to see bullet holes sprayed across buildings, Russian graffiti from the Battle of Berlin (Reichstag) and famous Nazi era buildings.
In this collection, we showcase the top World War II sites in Berlin.

 

Haus der Wannsee Konferenz

Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

The Wannsee Conference House (Haus der Wannsee Konferenz) was the location of a historically important meeting between senior government officials of Nazi Germany.  The officials met in a villa by the Wannsee lake for the purpose of discussing “the final solution to the Jewish question”.  The “final solution” was the Nazi’s code name for the genocide of all European Jews. Read More

 

Gleis 17 at Grunewald Station

Gate 17 - WW2 - Jewish Deportations

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

Gleis 17 (English: Track 17) at Grunewald Station was the place where over 50,000 Berlin Jews were forced into railcars then sent to ghettos or concentration camps during World War II. Almost all of the Jews that were deported from Berlin were eventually killed by the Nazis.  Read More

 

Reichstag

Reichtag-Berlin

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

The Reichstag building was constructed to house the parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and used until 1933, when under unknown circumstances, it was severely damaged by fire.  During the Battle of Berlin, Russian soldiers fought to take the Reichstag because of the cultural significance of the building.   Read more

 

Flak Towers of Berlin

Photo Credit: Richardfabi

Photo Credit: Richardfabi

The Flak towers were huge fortified structures that survived the war, some only to be partially or completely removed afterwards.  The primary role of these towers was as a gun platform which protected Berlin from Allied bomber raids. There were several Flak towers in Berlin, one each at the Berliner Zoo, Friedrichshain, Humboldthain.

 

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

World War II Site- Sachsenhausen

Photo credit: mustseeberlin.com

Sachenhausen was a concentration camp used during World War II to hold political prisoners and other “enemies” of the Nazi regime.  It was in use from 1936 until the end of the third Reich in May 1945.  The grounds are now open to the public as a museum and reminder of the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Read More

 

The Führerbunker (Hitler’s Bunker)

Führerbunker in Berlin

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

The Führerbunker was the place Hitler and other high ranking Nazi officials worked at the end of World War II as the Russians were closing in on them.  This location is also the place where Adolf Hitler and wife Eva committed suicide.  After the war, the still-standing bunker was demolished.  Today, the site of the bunker is a parking lot and only a solitary sign notes the significance of what took place there.  Read More

 

Olympic Stadium

World War II Sights in Berlin

Photo Credit: Hoffmann

The Olympic Stadium was built between 1934 and 1936 by the Nazi government for propaganda purposes.  Today visitors can walk the grounds and see vestiges from World War II.  This includes the large olympic Bell, which has a partially obscured swastika.

 

Moltke Bridge

Molkte Bridge - Berlin

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

The Moltke Bridge is a bridge over the Spree River in Mitte.  The bridge saw intense fighting during the Battle of Berlin in April 1945.  Units of the Soviet 3rd Shock Army fought their way down Alt-Moabit to capture the bridge (heading towards the Reichtag), but the bridge was partially blown up by the Germans.  The Moltke Bridge only partially collapsed, allowing the Russians to pass and win the Battle of Berlin.  Read More

 

Niederkirchnerstraße

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

Niderkirchnerstraße formally known as Prinz-Albrecht-Straße, was an important street for the Nazis.  The street contained buildings that housed the headquarters of the Gestapo and SS. These buildings were mostly destroyed by Allied bombings and today a museum exists in its place.  The museum aptly named Topography of Terror is meant to inform visitors about the how the Nazi regime came to power and the devastating consequences that followed.

 

Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

The memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe (also known as the Holocaust Memorial) is a large, outdoor memorial less than a minutes walk from the Brandenburg Gate. It consists of over 2700 concrete blocks with various heights that are arranged in a grid pattern and meant to give visitors an uneasy feeling when walking through them.  This location is for the remembrance of the millions of Jews killed under the Nazi regime during World War II.  Read More

 

Soviet Memorial at Treptower Park

Soviet War Memorial at Treptower Park, Berlin

Photo Credit: mustseeberlin.com

The Soviet War Memorial is a World War II memorial and cemetery inside Treptower Park.  Built to commemorate 5,000 of the estimated 80,000 Russian soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin.  It is a must see for anyone interested in German/Russian history. Read More

 

More About Berlin

Learn more about money matters, language and transportation in Berlin.

March 7, 2016 0 comment
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If you want to get away from the hoards of roaming tourists, this might be just the place for you.  Berlin’s Georgen-Parochial is right in the middle of the popular Friedrichshain district and dates back to the early 1800s.

This cemetery contains hundreds of old family plots, mausoleums and other interesting things to see.  Keep your eyes open for damage from World War II which can be plainly seen in some areas.

A large portion of this cemetery is modern graves, if these don’t interest you, stick to the outer areas of the cemetery (near the wall).  There you will find the older, more extravagant graves.

 

Exploring the cemetery

Graffiti covered wall of the outside cemetery wall

Tree lined path in cemetery

 

 

Johann Carl J. Albrecht holds claim to the oldest marked grave in Georgen-Parochial II cemetery. To find this grave, enter at the Friedenstraße entrance near the southern tip of the cemetery and turn right on the first path.

One of the oldest graves, dating back to the 1850s

Cemetery dirt path between trees

 

Large parts of the eastern portion of this cemetery are overgrown with vegetation, while other parts are perfectly maintained.

Semi-modern gravestones surrounded by vegetation.

 

A sign listing a row of urns (Urnenhain) in old world -Fraktur typeface.

Wood cemetery sign that is showing it's age.

Small flowers starting to bloom around graves

Path marker with the number 36

Tall, black grave dating back to the early 20th century.

Mid-20th century grave with portaits of husband and wife.

Two old watering cans sitting on the curb

 

 

In modern Germany, you don’t buy a plot, you usually lease it for 20 years. Your relatives have the option of renewing the grave for an additional amount of time (and money).  If the plot is not extended, the contents of the grave are removed and either buried deeper or in another location. They also take out the headstone, pulverize it into small rocks and use it for various other purposes. We noticed that some of the paths in this cemetery had tiny pieces of headstones jutting out of the dirt, no doubt to fill in the low spots.

A small mountain of discarded head stones, waiting to be pulverized.

Closeup of discarded headstones

 

Many of the older plots have ornamental fences in varying stages of decay.

Large family plots with metal fences

 

A number of fences have fell victim to time and nature.  They may have started out as a tiny tree to provide shade over a grave but have since completely taken over elements the plot.

A tree grows through the old fence.

 

Tree which has grown around a iron fence.

Closeup of tree that has absorbed the fence.

Small modern graves

View of family plots and the cemetery building in the background.

 

The Mausoleaums

This cemetery has a ton of interesting mausoleums.  This one, located near coordinates 52.521639, 13.445260 is the tomb of the Enders family, although only one name is listed inside: Carl Adolph Enders. The mausoleum is locked but the door is somewhat broken allowing a peak inside.

A view from outside of the Enders mausoleum.

Inside the mausoleum lists Carl Adolph Enders as one of the occupants.

 

The tiled floors must have looked amazing when it was built, they probably just need a good scrub to bring them back to life.

A view inside one mausoleum showing the floor opened.

A view inside one mausoleum and looking to the right, showing a fence.

 

A collapsed mausoleum

 

Inside a collapsed mausoleum showing old bricks

 

A mausoleum from the early 20th century.

Familie Otto Mundt mausoleum

 

Large family plots

In addition to the numerous mausoleums, this cemetery holds dozens of large scale family plots. It is apparent that Georgen-Parochial II cemetery is the final resting place of some extremely wealthy Berliners.

Family plots with large building like headstones

A pathway showing large family plots.

 

A huge headstone from a wealthy family.

A flower ornament made from iron which is part of the plot fence.

New construction meets old world bricks.

 

Even cemeteries didn’t escape damage from the world wars.  Across this cemetery, you can clearly see evidence of bullets and/or shrapnel damage to headstones and monuments.

Bullet holes on mausoleum wall.

Path inside cemetery with large family plots nearby

Impressive family monuments

 

 

We are lucky to have a glimpse of history behind the headstone.  The brick makers name is clearly engraved on numerous bricks. We can see that the bricks came from Mögelin Rathenow.  Mögelin lies east of Berlin in the state of Brandenburg.  The Mögelin brick factory was founded in the mid-17th century and continued making bricks until the First World War, when the factory was closed.

Grave dating back to 1892 with exposed brick which came from Mogelin Rathemon.

Old family monument aged with time.

 

 

The old and the new

The cemetery is surrounded on nearly all sides by modern development.  In certain parts, you can see the developers didn’t waste a spare inch when designing their buildings.  Some of the neighboring buildings incorporate the cemetery memorials directly into their own walls.

New buildings meet the old cemetery

New construction directly against cemetery structures, not an inch was wasted.

Impressive family monument

New construction directly behind cemetery.

 

 

How to get there

Note: There are no cemetery entrances along Auerstraße or Richard-Sorge-Straße.

U-Bahn stop: Weberwiese (Line U5)

Tram stop: Klinikum in Friedrichshain (Line M5, M6, M8)

March 1, 2015 0 comment
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