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Transcript of Explore Berlin
Famous Sites with Famous Tales
Berlin Then and Now
Memorials in Berlin
Memorial to Murdered Jews of Europe
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe or Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, also known as the Holocaust Memorial is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, It was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 4.7 acre site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The slabs are 2.38 m long and 0.95 m wide. They vary in height from 0.2 to 4.8 m. According to Eisenman's project text, the slabs are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. However, observers have noted the memorial's resemblance to a cemetery. An attached underground "Place of Information" holds the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.
Building began on April 1, 2003 and was finished on December 15, 2004. It was inaugurated on May 10, 2005, sixty years after the end of World War II, and opened to the public two days later.
The Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is a luxury hotel in Berlin, Germany. It is located on Unter den Linden, the main boulevard in the central Mitte distric and on the corner of Pariser Platz, directly opposite the Brandenburg Gate.
The legendary original Hotel Adlon was one of the most famous hotels in Europe. It opened in 1907 and was largely destroyed in 1945 in the closing days of World War II, however continued operating until 1984. The current hotel is a new building with a design inspired by the original, which opened on August 23, 1997. The hotel has featured in many movies and many movie stars have stayed in there. The hotel is rated 5 stars and ranges from $400 to $2000 per night.
WWII and Berlin
The Jewish Museum Berlin or Jüdisches Museum Berlin is one of the largest Jewish Museums in Europe. There are two buildings, one of which is a new addition specifically built for the museum by architect Daniel Libeskind. Two millenniums of German Jewish history are on display in the permanent exhibition as well as in various changing exhibitions. The museum opened to the public in 2001.
The square, then called Platz am Opernhaus, was laid out between 1741 and 1743 under the rule of King Frederick II of Prussia. On 12 August 1910 it was named Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Platz, in honour of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria on the occasion of his 87th birthday. The buildings surrounding the square were largely destroyed in World War II by air raids and the Battle of Berlin. The ensemble was restored in the 1950s and the square renamed on 31 August 1947.
The Bebelplatz is known as the site of the infamous Nazi book burning ceremony held in the evening of May 10, 1933 by members of the SA, SS, Nazi students and Hitler Youth groups, on the instigation of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. They burned around 20,000 books, including works by Heinrich Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and many other authors.
Some days earlier, on May 6, the students had also dragged the contents library of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft into the square, burning them on May 10.
Today a memorial by Micha Ullman consisting of a glass plate set into the cobbles, giving a view of empty bookcases (Big enough to hold the total of the 20,000 burnt books), commemorates the book burning. Furthermore, a line of Heinrich Heine from his play, Almansor (1821), is engraved on a plaque inset in the square: "Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." or "Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people" Students at Humboldt University hold a book sale in the square every year to mark the anniversary.
Glass plates set into the cobbles, big enough to hold the total of the 20,000 burn books.
A panoramic view of Bebelplatz.
Sachsenhausen "Saxon's Houses" Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. The remaining buildings and grounds are now open to the public as a museum.
Sachsenhausen was the site of the largest counterfeiting operation ever. The Germans forced inmate artisans to produce forged American and British currency, as part of a plan to undermine the British and United States' economies. Over one billion pounds in counterfeit banknotes were recovered. The Germans introduced fake British £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes into circulation in 1943. Plans had been made to drop British pounds over London by plane. Today these notes are considered very valuable by collectors.
An industrial area, outside the western camp perimeter, contained SS workshops where prisoners were forced to work. Those unable to work stood for the duration of the working day. Heinkel, the aircraft manufacturer, was a used the labor of Sachsenhausen. It used between 6,000 and 8,000 prisoners on their He 177 bomber. Official German reports claimed the prisoners were "working without fault", however some aircraft's crashed unexpectedly and it is suspected that prisoners had sabotaged them. Prisoners also worked in a brick factory, which some say was supposed to supply the building blocks for Hitler's dream city, Germania.
Camp punishments could be harsh. Some would be required to assume the "Sachsenhausen salute" where a prisoner would squat with his arms outstretched in front. There was a marching strip around the perimeter of the roll call ground, where prisoners had to march over a variety of surfaces, to test military footwear; between 25 and 40 kilometers were covered each day. Prisoners assigned to the camp prison would be kept in isolation on poor rations and some would be suspended from posts by their wrists tied behind their backs. In cases such as attempted escape, there would be a public hanging in front of the assembled prisoners.
The camp was secure and there were few successful escapes. The perimeter consisted of a 3-metre-high stone wall on the outside. Within that there was a space that was patrolled by guards and dogs; it was bordered on the inside by a lethal electric fence; inside that was a gravel "death strip" forbidden to the prisoners. Any prisoner venturing onto the "death strip" would be shot by the guards without warning. Rewards such as extra leave were offered to guards who successfully shot and killed any prisoner who entered onto the death zone.
The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims of National Socialism is a memorial in Berlin, Germany. The monument is dedicated to the memory of the 220,000 - 500,000 people murdered in the Porajmos - the Nazi genocide of the European Sinti and Roma people. It was designed by Dani Karavan and was officially opened on 24 October 2012 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the presence of President Joachim Gauck.
The memorial is on Simsonweg in the Tiergarten in Berlin, south of the Reichstag and near the Brandenburg Gate.
The memorial consists of a dark, circular pool of water at the centre of which there is a triangular stone. The triangular shape of the stone is in reference to the badges that had to be worn by concentration camp prisoners. The stone is retractable and a fresh flower is placed upon it daily. In bronze letters around the edge of the pool is the poem 'Auschwitz' by Roma poet Santino Spinelli
The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims
Some 30,000 inmates died there from exhaustion, disease, malnutrition, pneumonia, etc. due to the poor living conditions. Many were executed or died as the result of brutal medical experimentation. Over the course of its operation, over 100 Dutch resistance fighters were executed at Sachsenhausen. The Dutch subsequently sought execution of Czechoslovakiaof Antonín Zápotocký, who became President of Czechoslovakia, for his alleged role in the murder of the Dutch during his time at the camp. According to an article published on December 13, 2001 in The New York Times, "In the early years of the war the SS practiced methods of mass killing there that were later used in the Nazi death camps. Of the roughly 30,000 wartime victims at Sachsenhausen, most were Russian prisoners of war".
The Adlon is a good starting point for a tour of Berlin's recent past. It is in the heart of the Mitte district, host to most of the Nazi regime's haunts.
During the war, two floors were occupied by the foreign ministry, and a colourful kaleidoscope of characters passed thought its doors. Soldiers and spies; political attaches and party apparatchiks: all were drawn to the vortex of Hitler's Reich.
The Führerbunker was an air-raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was the last of the Führer Headquarters to be used by Adolf Hitler.
Hitler took up residence in the Führerbunker on 16 January 1945 and it became the centre of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II. Hitler married Eva Braun here during the last week of April 1945, shortly before they committed suicide.
After the war both the old and new Chancellery buildings were levelled by the Soviets, but despite some attempts at demolition the underground complex remained largely undisturbed until 1988–89. During reconstruction of that area of Berlin, those sections of the old bunker complex that were excavated were for the most part destroyed. The site remained unmarked until 2006, when a small plaque with a schematic was installed. Some of the corridors of the bunker still exist today, but are sealed off from the public.