Rather than glossing over its role in World War II, Germany has preserved stories and artifacts in sites across the country, a tribute to the atrocities and tens of millions who were killed in the war. See below to learn about the solemn sites of Germany’s WWII past.
As the launching point for some of Adolf Hitler’s largest Nazi rallies, Nuremberg played a significant role in World War II. The modern city is peppered with war monuments such as the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the Nazi Documentation Center, and the courtroom where the Nuremberg war crimes trials took place.
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
While a number of concentration camps are preserved around Germany, Dachau, with its poignant memorial and museum, is one of the most visited. The camp was used as the blueprint for others and was used during the war to imprison members of the Jewish community, German dissidents, outspoken clergymen, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Polish civilians, among others. While a visit is sobering, many visitors find a trip to this memorial site sheds light on the Holocaust.
Perched on a mountain peak in the Bavarian Alps, the towering Eagle’s Nest was one of the most elaborate of Hitler’s houses. The Adlerhorst and its extensive network of underground bunkers served as the southern Nazi headquarters and a safe retreat for Hitler throughout the war. Today, its historical significance and views over the surrounding Alps makes it one of Bavaria’s most visited attractions.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
Located just north of Berlin, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was one of the most notorious Nazi camps. Tens of thousands of Jewish people died at Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg before the camp was liberated on April 22, 1945. Today, the area serves as a museum and war memorial site with a library, archive, and open-air exhibition. There are exhibitions throughout the site, including in the barracks, prison, kitchen, and commandant's offices.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial)
Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is an urban tribute to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Set within walking distance of both the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) and Potsdamer Platz, the memorial consists of the field of stelae and an underground information center.