A two-centre tour to these diverse cities will give students the opportunity to see why important political decisions were made, as well as the devastating consequences these had for some people. In Berlin, students will learn how and why the Final Solution was put into place, whilst in Krakow, they’ll see the outcome of this decision in a truly heart-rending and thought-provoking visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
We’ve put together our top 5 recommended visits for your History Trip:
1. Guided Walking Tour of Berlin
Give your students the perfect introduction to this endlessly fascinating capital. Tailored to meet the needs and learning requirements of your group, you’ll focus on the topics relevant to you as you take in the landmarks of this diverse city. Whilst one of the most popular tours for students of 20th Century History covers the rise and fall of the Nazi regime and the city’s divide by the Berlin Wall, your tour can also be focused more specifically on a certain topic area such as Jewish Berlin, Third Reich Berlin or the Cold War.
2. The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia, the gate opened in 1791, one hundred years before Germany was originally unified. The iconic landmark tells the story of Germany’s creation, its imperial ambitions and its darkest days. When the wall fell, the Brandenburg Gate became the symbol of the new post-war Germany and should be the starting point of any tour to Berlin.
3. The Reichstag, Berlin
Built between 1884 and 1894, the Reichstag has been the seat of the German parliament (Bundestag) since 1998. Take a guided tour of the German Parliament building, the site where the arson attack of 1933 enabled Hitler to bring in the first signs of his dictatorship. Its iconic glass dome displays stunning 360° views of the city, making it one of the building’s key attractions.
4. Auschwitz, Krakow
Take a guided tour of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. You’ll explore the buildings where atrocities took place, visit harrowing exhibitions and see the scale of the grounds where thousands of non-Jewish Poles and over 1.2 million Jews from across Europe were exploited and murdered. By combining a trip to Auschwitz with a visit to Krakow itself, students can properly understand not only the persecution of the Jews, but what the life of the Jewish community in Poland was like before the Holocaust and during the Nazi occupation.
5. Kazimierz, Krakow
Take to the streets of Kazimierz, a district of Krakow that was the centre of Jewish life for over 500 years before its inhabitants were systematically destroyed during the Second World War. Explore the Old Synagogue which dates back to 15th century and see where, in March 1941, the Nazis forced all Krakow Jews to resettle in the newly created ghetto, before then forcing the 17,000 ghetto inhabitants into concentration camps just two years later.