Berlin & Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Berlin, (Warnemunde), Germany

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Excursion Overview

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Notes

  • Journey to Berlin is aboard a privately chartered train.
  • Traditional German pub style lunch is included.

During the Train Ride to Berlin, please note the following:

  • A light breakfast and dinner snack will be served both to and from Berlin.
  • Restrooms are onboard the train.
  • Travel time from Warnemünde to Berlin is approximately 3-3.5 hours.
  • The train is not air conditioned.

Please note the following:

  • This excursion is not recommended for guests with wheelchairs or walking difficulties due to the amount of walking at Sachsenhausen as well as on the grounds of the Holocaust Memorial.
  • The visit to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial is an outside visit only.
  • The order of the tour may vary, due to traffic. 
  • Arrival/departure times of train may cause a variation in time in Berlin. 
  • Public restrooms usually cost Euro 0.50 pp.
  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
  • Walking and steps are involved in this excursion.
  • Depending on which pier the ship is docked at, there may be a 10 minute walk to the train station.

Only recently opened to the public, you will visit Sachenhausen, one of the first "Protective Custody " camps in Germany. End your visit with a city tour of the Berlin.

Excursion Description

 

Upon arrival in Berlin by private chartered train, your guide will first take you on an exciting tour of Berlin. You will pass the “Bebel Platz” where below the ground level lies the “Empty Library” - today the cities most original memorial, “erected” to commemorate ostracized authors whose books were burned on this sight by students and Nazis in 1933.

Some of the most famous highlights that you will witness are remnants of the “Berliner Mauer” (Berlin wall), chilling proof of what was the cities landmark for 28 years; “Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche” (the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) preserved as a ruin after World War II (time permitting); the only remaining city gate, the “Brandenburger Tor”, which more than any other monument, symbolizes the German and European unification and always known as the border between East and West Germany; the “Reichstag”, which has come alive again after a long “political deep sleep”, since the German government repositioned from Bonn; the site of the former “Check-Point Charlie”, the legendary border crossing where spies where swapped between the American and Soviet sectors during the Cold War;  the “Berliner Dom”, Berlin’s Protestant cathedral, with its Neo-Baroque interior and massive dome.

Drive through “Kurfürstendamm”, Berlin’s “Champs Elysees" (time permitting) and pass the “Gendarmenmarkt”, the most harmonious square in Berlin, which is an ensemble of the Theatre, the German Dome and the French Dome.

After this visit, your tour continues to Berlin where you will make a photo stop at the "Neue Synagogue", Berlin’s most prominent Jewish landmark, which was rebuilt as a facade as the site of the original synagogue is wasteland – deliberately left as a memorial to what was damaged by Nazi flames and finished off by war time bombs. After this, pass by old treasures such as the Haeckesche Hoefe, a building complex built by Jewish idealists in 1906-07 with elegant ceramic facades which today symbolizes Berlin’s new "Mitte" (center) having miraculously survived two wars. Today this area houses an up-market collection of shops, galleries, theatres, cabarets, cafes, restaurants and cinemas and is just about Berlin’s top tourist attraction.

Stop at the "Holocaust Memorial" that was officially opened only in 2005 and designed by the New Yorker Peter Eisenman. This foundation for the "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" is a central place for remembrance to the murdered victims and a place of warning for those who are prone to forget.

This visit is about Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future. In his attempt to present a new idea of memory as distinct from nostalgia, Eisenman reflects: "We can only know the past today through a manifestation in the present".

After your visit to Berlin, your local guide will take you to one of its most somber and chilling destinations - the former Nazi Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen, a memorial near Oranienburg just north of Berlin. This Camp was one of the first "Protective Custody" camps in Germany, designed to be the ‘ideal’ camp and at the same time symbolically subdue the prisoners to the absolute power of the SS. At least 200000 people were imprisoned here.

Passing through the entrance gate that is still haunted with the slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free!), you will get a sense of the sadness that still clings to this camp today. Your guide will point out the shoe testing tracks where prisoners were forced to spend their entire day, testing shoes for local shoe manufactures, marching in shoes sometimes two sizes too small, for about 40 kilometers over cement, cinders, broken stones, gravel and sand. You will also see various barracks used for housing and feeding inmates before leaving the camp and returning to the train station in Berlin.

Some of the true stories that you will hear from your guide may be upsetting.

A traditional German pub-style lunch in Berlin is included.

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