Exploring the Third Reich with Vive Berlin Tours

Ten months after an incredibly informative and emotional tour of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp with our guide Dennis from Vive Berlin Tours, we were back in Berlin and knew we wanted to tag along on another of their various tours (although perhaps one a bit more upbeat this time). After much debate (all of Vive’s tours look really interesting!) Travis and I settled on the “Third Reich” tour and made our way to Potsdamer Platz to meet up.

olympic bell

The Olympic Bell, a tradition that didn’t catch on, shot down by the Soviet Army

As luck would have it, we were the only participants to show, although there was a large Italian speaking group we could have joined; however, the day became even better when Dennis appeared as our guide for the day. The icing on the cake?  As no one else would be joining us, we were able to personalize the tour, focusing on the areas we found most interesting! Everything was really too good to be true, and being the polite, courteous people we are, Travis and I felt a little bad taking up so much of Dennis’ time by ourselves.

olympic pool

The Olympic Pool, still in use today.

Needless to say, the tour was fantastic – informative, well paced, and extremely interesting. We crisscrossed the city making great use of our full day transit passes and visiting sites like Track 17 where the Jewish population of Berlin was deported to concentration camps, the Bavarian quarter where Albert Einstein once lived, and the Olympic Stadium where Jesse Owens won Olympic Gold before Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1936. Along the way, Dennis shared his wealth of knowledge regarding all things Berlin, from the history of particular neighbourhoods to interesting tidbits about the train stations we stopped in and his own take on current day affairs in Berlin. And, as always, Dennis’ tour incorporated the stories of various Berliners, making all the much more real and personal.

track 17

The memorial at Track 17

Although we can’t share all of Dennis’ secrets with you, we will try to tempt you into joining your own Vive Berlin tour group next time you find yourself in the city. Here are a few of the amazing things we learned during our six hour tour.

  • The Olympic Torch Relay was started at the 1936 Olympics – and the idea came form the office of none other than Joseph Goebbels.
  • Soviet Military Leaders in East Berlin didn’t have to go without the delicacies of the West; their wives made weekly trips to the luxurious KaDeWe department store in West Berlin for caviar and champagne – oh the irony!
  • The expensive red marble floor from Hitler’s Chancellery Office now lines the walls of a local U-Bahn Station
track 17 2

A marker denotes every train that left from Track 17 with Jewish people on board.

We have now attended two of Vive Berlin’s tours and cannot recommend their company highly enough, and it appears Trip Advisor agrees. For an insider’s view of Berlin, a guided tour with Vive Berlin is the way to go – and no, they did not pay us to say any of this, as always our opinions are as free as they are plentiful!

The Logistics: For information on any of Vive Berlin’s tours visit http://www.viveberlintours.de Prices vary by tour and private guides are also available; the Third Reich tour cost us 17 Euro per person for a six hour tour, a great value as far as we’re concerned (It would cost you 7 Euro just to visit the Olympiastadion…but it’s included in the price here!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge