Berlin: 8 Memorials and museums that teach about the National Socialism Dictatorship in Germany

In the night from 9th to 10th November 1938 throughout Germany Jewish synagogues were set on fire. During the Night of Broken Glass members of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the Schutzstaffel (SS) abused and murdered Jewish citizens, demolished their homes and smashed the windows of Jewish shops. Hundreds of people died and at least 1,400 synagogues and prayer houses in Germany and Austria were heavily damaged or completely destroyed. 

mural anne frank berlin
Anne Frank Centre in the Berlin borough of Mitte

The instruction to the pogrom came from the leadership of the Nazi Party who declared the terrorist act as an allegedly spontaneous act of "public anger" and reaction to the murder of the Secretary of Legation (Secretary of Legation was the service designation of an official in the German Foreign Service after exams in the trial period until the appointment) at the German embassy in Paris. The 17-year-old Polish Jew Herschel Grynszpan wanted to bring attention to the deportation of 17,000 Polish Jews (including his parents).

Anti-Semitic laws had been passed in 1935 and the Night of Broken Glass (Reichspogromnacht in German) was already the beginning of the genocide. Some of the onlookers cheered and hooted, others accepted silently what was happening. The German population witnessed a breach of human rights. The Jews were left all alone that night. It is easy to be silent and look the other way.

Where to learn about history in Berlin?

If you are in Berlin, you will find a number of memorials, documentation centres and museums dedicated to the memory of the victims. Authentic places, exhibitions, and museums lead visitors to historical events and to all the people who are part of the story. It takes just a bit of courage to help others. Do not be a bystander. Do something when you witness the unjust treatment of others.

Rosenthalerstrasse 39
10178 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm.
Tickets: Adults EUR 5, reduced: EUR 3, Family ticket EUR 12.

2. Museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind

German Resistance Memorial Center Foundation
Rosenthaler Straße 39
First courtyard, entrance left.
10178 Berlin.
Mon-Sun 10am - 8pm. Closed 24th December.
Tickets: Free

3. Silent Heroes Memorial Center

Rosenthaler Straße 39
10178 Berlin
Hours: 10am - 8pm. Closed: 24th December.
Tickets: Free

Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin
The Field of Stelae: open 24 hours, daily
Information Centre: April to September Tuesday - Sunday 10am – 8pm (last entry 7:15pm). October - March Tuesday - Sunday 10am – 7pm (last entry 6:15pm). Closed: January 1st and December 24th to 26th and December 31st.
Tickets: Free

Oranienburger Straße 28/30
10117 Berlin
1st October 2015 bis 31st March 2016
Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10am – 6pm. Friday: 10am – 3pm. Closed on Saturday.
Tickets: EUR 5.

Britzer Straße 5
12439 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm.
Tickets: Free.

Am Großen Wannsee 56-58
14109 Berlin-Zehlendorf
Hours: 10am - 6pm.
Tickets: Free, a gold coin donation of EUR 2 is expected.

Niederkirchnerstraße 8
10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Hours: 10am - 8pm
Tickets: free

Browse this database to see how many Jewish businesses there were in Berlin from 1930 – 1945.
The more we learn about the past, the better we understand that any form of xenophobia and racism is plain wrong. Keep your eyes open and learn while travelling the world. Can't wait to hear from you.

From Berlin with love