Berlin is a city with a big history. A lot of the best known sights of Berlin have something to do with World War II and the period after this war. When you visit Berlin, it’s almost impossible to avoid the sights from this historical event. The war had a huge impact on the world and I think Berlin is a perfect place to get to know a bit more about our history. That’s why I listed five historical sights in Berlin for you down below!
1. Visit Jewish Museum
This a museum about the Jewish community. You walk in the museum in a chronological way and it gives you a view about 2,000 years of Jewish history. The museum doesn’t only show you the persecution of the Jews from World War II, but also about Jewish traditions and the modern Judaism. It gives you more information about the Jewish community than the typical things we already know from our history books.
2. Visit concentration camp Sachsenhausen
Visiting a concentration camp had a huge impact on me. Not only because I saw the place it all happened, but also because of the museum part of this place. There were things from the SS and also belongings from people who had lived in the camp. Why it had a big impact on me was because I saw books and other belongings from people who lived really close by at my home town. Even though you know it happened, this made it so real. Everything I learned from my history books I saw in real life and I think it makes you realise how great it is to live in freedom.
3. Visit Holocaust Memorial
There are a lot of WW II Memorials in Berlin. The most impressive one is the Holocaust Memorial. It’s located between Potsdamerplatz and the Branderburger Tor. The memorial consists of 2711 concrete blocks in different sizes. The meaning of the memorial is the feeling it gives you when you walk through it; disorientation and uncertainty. The feelings people from the holocaust probably had too.
4. Walk the Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall caused a separation between East- and West-Berlin for 28 years. The separation started already in 1945 after World War II, but the wall made the separation ‘real’. The separation was the resulted from years of tensions between Western Allies (American, British and French) and the Soviet Union. Those tensions caused a cold war between the two groups. The Soviet Union constructed the wall, because a lot of people wanted to live on the west side of the city (capitalism) and the Soviet Union (communism) wanted to avoid that. The leftovers of the Berlin wall has nowadays the name ‘East-side gallery’, which is the wall as a gallery of art.
5. Visit ‘Reichstag’
Reichstag is the parliament building of Germany. The construction of this building began in 1884 and was completed in 1894. The building has been heavily damaged in the Reichstag fire in 1933. This fire was (most likely) lit, but it’s still not clear who exactly did it. A Dutch communist was arrested as suspect and he’s executed for this crime, even though it’s not clear if he really did it. There were also rumors that Hitler had lit this fire, so he was able to point at the Communists. When you visit Reichstag you can get a (audio) tour about the history of this beautiful building. If you aren’t interested in the history of this building, I think it’s still a great place to visit. The building is really beautiful and special, because they mixed old and modern architecture in just one building. It gives you also a great view of the city when you’re on top of the building. I thought it was really interesting to see that the difference is still visible between the east and the west side of the city. Tip: Make a reservation before you want to visit this building. It’s always really busy and there’s a limit on how many people may enter the building.
5 historical things to do in Berlin, are you in?