The Face of Evil
- Let Hitler’s lift whisk you to the summit of Kehlstein mountain for lunch at the notorious “Eagle’s Nest”
- Tour the remains of the Berghof, Hitler’s home, and the court where Nazism was condemned
- Visit Dachau, the fi rst Nazi concentration camp
This groundbreaking, ever-popular tour charts the dark and disturbing history of National Socialism in Germany, from genesis to hubris and nemesis, Bavarian roots to ignominious demise in the ruins of Berlin. We visit infamous sites such as the first concentration camp at Dachau, Hitler’s mountain retreats the Berghof and Eagle’s Nest, the great rally grounds of Nuremberg, the villa at Wannsee where the ‘Final Solution’ was agreed and the site of Hitler’s Berlin bunker, amongst myriad other absorbing, disquieting places. To make this journey is to truly understand modern history’s greatest tragedy.
- All Inclusive
Upon arrival in Munich, we transfer to the Platzl Hotel, situated just a few minutes’ walk from Marienplatz Square and the Hofbräuhaus. After welcome drinks and a talk introducing our tour and the fascinating sights that await us, we enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Just a short drive from Munich, the Bavarian town of Dachau bears a grimly familiar name. Here was established the first Nazi concentration camp and the model for all that followed. Of the 200,000 mostly political prisoners incarcerated here between 1933 and 1945, over 40,000 were murdered. Harrowing exhibits chart the birth of Nazi medical experimentation and Dachau’s role as a ‘school of violence’ for the SS. A visit here reveals the full depravity of the regime even in its early days. After lunch on site, we return to Munich to visit the striking Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, constructed on the site of the ‘Brown House’, the former headquarters of the NSDAP, which chronicles the rise of the Nazis from their foundation in 1919. A brief walking tour follows, then we dine at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus, the huge beer hall where Hitler declared the Nazi agenda in 1920.
This morning we transfer by coach to Berchtesgaden and on by shuttle bus to the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s mountain-top retreat. The breathtaking beauty of the panoramic Alpine views seem at odds with the history of this district – this was where many of the decisions leading to war and mass extermination were made. We ride the ‘golden elevator’ to the peak and take lunch here. In the afternoon, we check in to Berchtesgaden’s excellent Kempinski Hotel, where dinner follows another enthralling lecture.
Like the Eagle’s Nest, the Berghof – The Third Reich’s second seat of power – was a place for Hitler to muse on Teutonic legend and determine Nazi policy. The rooms of this over-sized Alpine chalet, partly designed by Hitler, were intended to reflect National Socialism’s monumental style and to impress foreign dignitaries. Indeed, this was where some of the1938 negotiations with Neville Chamberlain were held. Today the Berghof lies in ruins, but the Obersalzberg Documentation Centre built close to its remains is one of the most comprehensive Third Reich museums. The vast bunker complex which sits beneath the Berghof is currently closed, though we will visit if it reopens in time.This afternoon, we drive on to Nuremberg and check in to the centrally located Maritim Hotel, where dinner is served this evening.
Hitler understood the power of spectacle, and vast parade grounds in Nuremberg played host to a series of astonishing political gatherings in the 1930s. These annual propaganda events drew hundreds of thousands of participants – party members, youth groups and armed forces – to demonstrate the might of Nazism. We walk the grounds, today in disrepair, and visit the information centre. Lunch is in the Documentation Centre Cafe. We then proceed to the Nuremberg Trials Memorial, a permanent exhibition on the top floor of the Palace of Justice where leading members of the Nazi regime stood before an international tribunal to answer for their crimes. Courtroom 600 is still in use today, and we visit this auspicious chamber. Dinner this evening is at the Albrecht Durer Stube.
We break up a lengthy journey to Berlin with a stop in Bayreuth, a Bavarian town home to an annual festival of Wagnerian opera. The Richard Wagner Museum, formerly the composer’s home, introduces visitors to the life, loves and music of a controversial figure much admired by Hitler. Our base in the German capital is the four-star Arcotel John F Berlin, and dinner is provided.
The House of the Wannsee Conference on the outskirts of Berlin has a devastating story to tell. In this incongruously idyllic lakeside location in January 1942, senior German civil servants gathered to discuss the ghettoisation, mass deportation and genocide of European Jews. This villa now stands as a memorial to those who lost their lives as a result of decisions made within its walls. An excellent permanent exhibition presents the detail of the conference and its aftermath. After lunch at a nearby restaurant, we return to Berlin and The Topography of Terror, an outstanding museum detailing the history of Nazi repression and European atrocities on the site of the Gestapo and SS headquarters. Dinner at our hotel follows.
Berlin suffered fearful bombardment throughout the Second World War and its people sought refuge in air raid shelters such as Gesundbrunnen in the heart of the city’s underground transport system. We visit this restored shelter, with its old triple bunk-beds, lavatories and other war era relics. In the afternoon, we visit the Memorial to the German Resistance, a relatively new permanent exhibition commemorating the men and women who risked (and lost) their lives openly resisting Nazism and fighting Hitler. Dinner is provided this evening.
A short walking tour of Berlin takes in the site of Hitler’s bunker, where the Führer directed the increasingly desperate war effort and where, as Red Army troops overran the German capital, he took his own life. We also visit the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most famous landmark, before departing for the airport to catch our individual flights home or onward travel.
- Tour Manager & Guide Lecturer
- Meals - Most meals included
- Transport - Return flights (UK only) & all local travel
- Hand-picked hotels throughout the tour
"To describe this trip as very good simply does not do it justice. Every aspect was first class from the itinerary to the hotels and food. Our expert guides, however, deserve special mention because they were great, generous with their time and knowledge and tireless in ensuring that we all had a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I am now in the process of planning my next trip."
— Guest, Face of Evil 2016
"Both the content of the tour and the accompanying logistics were superb. We were fortunate in having two historians accompany us - this was an added bonus - and they both delivered expert comment and took genuine care of all participants."
— Guest, Face of Evil 2016
"An exceptional tour which followed a logical chronological and geographical route from Munich through the Bavarian Alps to Nuremberg and Berlin. Hosted by expert historians, this tour was delivered in style. It is difficult to see how it could be bettered."
— Guest, Face of Evil 2016
"One of the best trips I have taken."
— Guest, Face of Evil 2016
Revolution in the air, war afoot…
The 20th century saw the world dominated by war. It was a time of unknowing atrocity and dubious morality; an age of resistance, risk and revolution.
Take an alternative look at 1940, examining what could have been, had Operation Sea Lion gone ahead. Uncover the Nazis’ Face of Evil, following their beginnings in Munich’s beer halls to the Nuremberg trials.
In this modern era, victims of war are more distant and responsibility more dubious. Travel with us as we examine whose hands are stained with innocent blood; and question who is to blame for the horrors inflicted upon mankind...