If you are that strange type of person who likes to prepare themselves before a trip – and believe me there are such people, you know the type: they make their beds each morning, polish their shoes and eat all their vegies – you might like to use the following sites/resources to add detail to this rambling travelogue. BTW, I am doing this pretty much from memory and am not checking details on Google so maybe you should.
First up, for my money the best site on the Internet for this type of thing is Geoff Walden’s http://www.thirdreichruins.com/
Geoff’s site is the duck’s guts for checking out existing sites in Germany generally and Berlin in particular although his specialty unless I’m mistaken is the Berchtesgaden/Obersalzberg area. If you plan on visiting the Berghof a smart person of non-specified gender would be mad not to buy Geoff’s
I did and didn’t get lost once.
Another great site for the history of Berlin is http://forum.axishistory.com/.
Axis History Forum is mainly concerned with World War 2 history and it does attract – as well as the occasional ratbag – large numbers of very knowledgeable experts on a wide range of topics. Word of warning however: be careful if you decide to sign up and post something. Some of these anoraks will go berserk and bombard you with indignant posts if you get the number or type of buttons on Hitler’s coat wrong, for example.
This site is also very useful: http://www.tracesofevil.com/ and like Geoff’s site, covers Germany in general.
I recommend the above sites because they do not tolerate neoNazi or racist posts and are concerned – as we are – purely with the history of any given place.
Finally, if you haven’t done so you should watch “Downfall” – one of many films which document the last days of Hitler in the Fuhrerbunker but, IMO, “Downfall” is the best (although the one with Anthony Hopkins in it is good too). Watch it in German if you want to show off in front of your friends. Just pretend you can follow the dialogue because here’s a tip – he dies in the end. “Bridge of Spies” has some nice reconstructions of Cold War Berlin too. Surprisingly, IMO, so does the 2015 “The Man From Uncle” movie, at least the first half hour or so does.
Far too much reading so far and far too few pictures. For anyone who’s persevered to this point, here are three photos intended to pique your interest in visiting Berlin. All three were taken in Berlin – by me – and I will explain their significance in subsequent posts: