In October 2017, I visited Berlin, Germany to enjoy the music, sport, culture and history of Germany's capital city. There is much to see and do in the city for those with an interest in World War Two.
At 0720hrs on Sunday 22nd October 2017, I left Belfast International Airport in Co. Antrim. Northern Ireland’s main airport was once RAF Aldergrove, a busy airfield throughout the war. The destination was Schoenefeld Airport on the outskirts of Berlin. From there, it was onwards by train to the famous Friedrichstrasse Station.
The Bunker, Berlin, Germany
Planned by Karl Bonatz and Albert Speer in 1942, The Bunker in Berlin was built as an air raid shelter and has had a long and varied history until today.
Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany
The Reichstag Building in Berlin is one of the most historic in the German capital. It suffered heavy Allied bombing in 1945 as well as the fire of 1933.
I spent the second day in Berlin on foot, taking a tour around the Mitte district and visiting many stunning World War Two era sites.
Dorotheenstadt Cemetery, Berlin, Germany
Dorotheenstadt Cemetery is a Protestant burial ground in Berlin, Germany that dates back to the 18th century. It stands next to the house of Bertolt Brecht.
Invalid’s Cemetery, Berlin, Germany
The Invalid's Cemetery is one of Berlin's oldest burial grounds. Many senior figures are buried here. It was the Prussian Army's traditional resting place.
Moltke Bridge, Berlin, Germany
The Moltke Bridge spans the River Spree in Berlin, Germany. Completed in 1891, it was the scene of fierce fighting between German and Soviet troops in 1945.
Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
The Soviet War Memorial in Berlin's Tiergarten in the centre of the city is one of many poignant reminders of the sacrifices made during World War Two.
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate is one of Europe's most recognisable monuments. Dating back to the 1700s, it was one of the only surviving structures in Pariser Platz after World War Two.
Academy Of Arts, Berlin, Germany
The Academy of Arts in Berlin returned to its former site on Pariser Platz in 2005. Parts of the World War Two era-buildings and a statue belonging to Albert Speer can still be seen.
Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany
The famous Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany is known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It is a powerful sculpture in the heart of the city.
Memorial to Persecuted Homosexuals, Berlin, Germany
The Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism stands on Ebertstrasse, on the edge of the Tiergarten, Berlin near to the famous Holocaust Memorial.
Hitler’s Bunker, Berlin, Germany
The site of Hitler's Bunker or Fuehrerbunker is covered by a car park. Information signs mark the spot where the Fuehrer shot himself on 30th April 1945.
Bebelplatz Book Burning Memorial, Berlin, Germany
Renamed in 1947, Bebelplatz was once known as Opernplatz. Home to Humboldt University, the State Opera, and St. Hedwig's Cathedral, it was also the scene of a memorable Nazi event of 1933.
Neue Wache War Memorial, Berlin, Germany
The Neue Wache Memorial stands in the centre of Berin as a central memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for victims of war, tyranny and dictatorship.
Block of Women, Berlin, Germany
The Block of Women memorial stands in a small park next to Rosenstrasse in Berlin, Germany. It commemorates a momentous occasion in February 1943 when women stood up to the Nazi regime.
Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Alexanderplatz in Berlin is one of the world's most visited public squares and although it doesn't boast the same attractions as New York's Times Square, it is a must-visit attraction.
Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus, Berlin, Germany
Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus in Berlin is often known as the Air Ministry Building. This imposing example of Nazi-era architecture still stands on Wilhelmstrasse.
Travelling by U-Bahn and S-Bahn in Berlin is cheap and easy to do. A travel card permits travel as far out as the Olympic Stadium.
1939-1945 Commonwealth Cemetery, Berlin, Germany
The 1939-1945 Commonwealth Cemetery at Heerstrasse, Charlottenburg, Berlin is the final resting place of twenty men with connections to Northern Ireland.
Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
Built by Werner March for the 1939 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Stadium in Berlin is now home to soccer and athletics events in the German capital.
Kaiser Wilhelm Church, Berlin, Germany
Kaiser Wilhelm Church in Berlin, Germany is a Protestant Evangelical Church. The building still bears the scars of Allied bombing of the city during WWII.
German Resistance Memorial, Berlin, Germany
The German Resistance Memorial stands in the Bendlerblock on Stauffenberstrasse, Berlin. The courtyard was the site of the execution of those involved in the Valkyrie plot.
Otto Weidt Museum, Berlin, Germany
Otto Weidt made brushes and his Berlin workshop hid many blind and deaf Jews from the Nazis during World War Two. Today, its a museum to tell the story.
Memorial to Polish Soldiers and German Anti-Fascists, Berlin, Germany
At the northern edge of Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin stands an impressive monument dedicated to the memory of Polish soldiers and German anti-fascists.
There is so much to see and do in Berlin, especially if you’re interested in the history of World War Two or the Cold War. My visit in October 2017 covered a lot of ground but I will return someday to visit more of the beautiful German capital.
Still on my must-see list is the Wannsee Conference Centre, the Luftwaffe Museum at Gatow, and Templehofer Feld. If you know of anywhere else I should visit, please get in touch.