But with the collapse of communism in the 1990s and the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, Berlin became the capital of united Germany. With Rick Steves’ Germany and Austria 2007, travelers can experience Rick's favorite destinations in Munich, Bavaria, Baden-Baden, Rothenburg, Würsburg, Frankfurt, the Rhine Valley, Dresden, Berlin, Vienna, the Danube Valley, Salzbu In mainstream tourism, we’re often encouraged to be lighthearted and avoid the serious. Now, a generation later, Checkpoint Charlie is a capitalist sideshow. No more fascism. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. I thought, “I’m living in a dumbed-down society.” And it saddened me. December 10, 2014. There's plenty to see and do here. The Story of Fascism: The Allies Defeat Fascist Germany Defeating Hitler and Mussolini took total war — a massive and heroic effort led by Britain, the USA, and the Soviet Union. ISBN-13: 9781631218286: Publisher: Avalon Publishing: Publication date: 12/18/2018: Series: Rick Steves' Travel Guides Series: Edition description: 2nd ed. Here’s another one of my favorite travel memories — a reminder of what’s waiting for you in Europe at the other end of this crisis. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Stepping inside, you can see how the first German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm, ordered up bombastic decor, which seems to declare "we're here to stay." Smaller text Larger text. The Story of Fascism: The Allies Defeat Fascist Germany, Defeating Hitler and Mussolini took total war — a massive and heroic effort led by Britain, the USA, and the Soviet Union. No more division. When he turns to me, I realize he’s Turkish, which makes me feel a little foolish. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Germany; Please sign in to post. Anytime you’re surrounded by teary-eyed Germans, something exceptional is going on. Years ago, when I got my history degree, I said to myself, “I’d better get a business degree, too, so I have something useful.” But I’ve learned over the years that if more people knew more about history, our world would be a better place. Ship to an address. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Skip to main content. By plugging directly into the present and getting the world’s take on things firsthand, a traveler goes beyond traditional sightseeing. 18:00  Return to Prenzlauer Berg (tram #M10 or walk along the rest of the memorial) for dinner. My new book is called “For the Love of Europe” — and this is just one of its 100 travel tales. 11:30  Follow my guidebook's Unter den Linden Walk (or the second third of the "Berlin City Walk" / "Best of Berlin Walk"). 15:30  Take the U-Bahn to Senefelderplatz and stroll the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, from Senefelderplatz to Kollwitzplatz to Kastanienallee, Oderberger Strasse, and the Mauerpark (with my Berlin guidebook, follow its Prenzlauer Berg Walk). I recently published a collection of my favorite stories from a lifetime of European travels. If you're spending only a few days in Berlin, Rick Steves Germany is all you're likely to need. It’s coming out in July, and available for pre-order. Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. History buffs could be on cloud nine without ever looking at a single canvas. What traveler doesn’t love a great European market? I wave down a cab and hop in. sold out. It had a fancy bar on top, but the best thing East Berliners could say about it back then was, “It’s so tall that if it falls, we’ll have an elevator to freedom.”. Above that is the hotel balcony where Michael Jackson famously dangled his baby (according to local guides, it’s the sight of greatest interest for most American tourists). Rick Steves’ Europe. Rating: Amazon Price: $19.99 $11.76 You save: $8.23 (41%) (as of September 18, 2020 12:58 am – Details). You can also find clips related to this story at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Berlin. Rick Steves' Europe. That iconic symbol of the Cold War. No more communism. 14:30  Choose from these Museum Island area sights: Pergamon, Neues Museum, Old National Gallery, German History Museum, or DDR Museum. 13:30  Do an "express tour" of the Pergamon, Neues Museum, and Old National Gallery; or, if you prefer history, tour the German History Museum and/or DDR Museum. Across the street at “Snack Point Charlie,” someone sipping a Coke says to me, “When serious becomes kitsch, you know it’s over.”. And plenty of visitors have a blast just hanging out in Berlin's funky neighborhoods and leafy parks, never stepping through a turnstile. But freedom, not Hitler, won. Most restaurants offer it (often as the cheapest thing on the menu), but it’s more commonly eaten at take-out fast-food stands. 18:30  Head back to Prenzlauer Berg (tram #M10 or walk along the rest of the memorial) for dinner. I don’t want to live in a dumbed-down society. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | History is constantly speaking to us. Then, making me feel foolish for feeling foolish, he says, “I’ve lived here 31 years. I use the opportunity to get a local’s perspective and ask the driver if he is a Berliner. I was caught up in it. 17:00  Follow my guidebook's Communist East Berlin Walk (or the final third of the "Berlin City Walk" / "Best of Berlin Walk"), or stretch your museum time. (This clip is excerpted from my new one-hour special “Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe.” (This clip is excerpted from my new one-hour special “Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe.” Check your local listings for air times — and if you don’t see it, please ask your public television station to add it to their schedule. By Rick Steves. Berlin, Germany: The Wall and Checkpoint Charlie « » View on Amazon Add to cart. Like ancient Romans keeping a few vanquished barbarians in cages for locals to spit at, capitalism and the West flaunt victory in Berlin. Two actors dressed as American soldiers stand between big American flags and among sandbags at the rebuilt checkpoint, making their living posing for tourists. Rick Steves takes us through the city, showing us highlights throughout its history. Whenever I see the restored Reichstag building in Berlin, I’m reminded of my visit in 1999, when it reopened to the public. Rick Steves' Europe | Episode | Germany’s Fascist Story. Nearly everyone had a file. When the Reichstag first reopened, I climbed to the top of the dome and found myself surrounded by teary-eyed Germans. The former headquarters of the Stasi (the East German equivalent of the KGB) is now a museum and an archive where former East Germans can come to explore their files. Whatever the case, he used the fire as a convenient excuse to frame the communists and grab total power. They respected the building’s cultural roots and renovated it. (This story is excerpted from my upcoming book, For the Love of Europe — collecting 100 of my favorite memories from a lifetime of European travel. Rick Steves' Europe: Prague, Czech Republic: Charles Bridge and a Czech Language . 16:30  Take tram #M10 to Nordbahnhof and tour the Berlin Wall Memorial. Free shipping and pickup in store on eligible orders. Next door, the DDR Museum is filled mostly with East German tourists rummaging through the nostalgia on display from their parents’ dreary lives under communism. Memorials across Europe remind us of the unthinkable horrors of 20th-century fascism — and compel us to never let it happen again. Of course, by 1945, Berlin was in ruins, Hitler’s charred corpse could be identified only by his dental records, and Speer was in jail writing his memoirs, “Inside the Third Reich” (which provided me with my most vivid impressions of the Nazi era). It requires a vigilant and engaged populace. Europe’s 10 Best Markets. Map. Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof . Travel can broaden our perspective, enabling us to rise above the advertiser-driven info­tainment we call the news to see things as citizens of the world. Germany is blessed with some of Europe's most high-powered sights. Standing at the historic Brandenburg Gate, I face Berlin’s fashionable new heart: Pariser Platz. I remember staying there during the Cold War, when a West German five-Mark coin changed on the black market would get me and my friends drinks all night. 16:00  Follow my Berlin guidebook's Communist East Berlin Walk (the final third of the "Berlin City Walk" / "Best of Berlin Walk"). Berlin . The story of fascism in 20th-century Europe teaches us that strong and charismatic leaders can capitalize on fear to lead a society astray. In Prague, Rick explores the historic Royal Way and tries to learn a little Czech. S11 E1104: Germany’s Fascist Story. But all this can distract us from a more important reason to travel. see all formats. The amazing story of Berlin swirls through my head: Speer’s vision, Hitler’s burning body, the last stand on the rooftop…the communists, the heroic American airlift, when the Communists attempted to starve a free Berlin into submission…Kennedy’s speech, followed 24 years later by Reagan’s demand to “tear down this wall”…the euphoria-turned-challenge of Germany’s reunification, and the gleaming city visitors marvel at today. The nearby hills were created entirely with the rubble of a city bombed nearly flat about 70 years ago. 13:00  Grab a takeaway lunch to enjoy on a Spree River cruise. In 1933, this symbol of democracy nearly burned down. 11:30  Follow my Berlin guidebook's Unter den Linden Walk (or the second third of the "Berlin City Walk" / "Best of Berlin Walk"). January 24, 2007 | $11.99. Make the most of every day and every dollar with Rick Steves Berlin. Rick Steves Germany is famously a work in progress — as is the nearby Netherlands — and that includes their sightseeing attractions. They were so preoccupied with trivialities — camera batteries, their Cokes, the air-conditioning — that they missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate this great moment with the German people. 15:00  Ride the U-Bahn (U2 from Potsdamer Platz to Senefelderplatz) and stroll the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, from Senefelderplatz to Kollwitzplatz to Kastanienallee, Oderberger Strasse, and the Mauerpark (with my Berlin guidebook, follow its Prenzlauer Berg Walk). With every visit, I remember my spooky first time there in 1971, when tour buses returning to the West were emptied at the border so mirrors could be rolled under the bus to see if anyone was trying to escape with us. It was a thrill to be there. They had a united government entering a new century with a new capitol building, looking into a promising future. Online shopping for Books from a great selection of Reference & Tips, Europe, United States, Asia, Atlases & Maps, Specialty Travel & more at everyday low prices. 20:00  Explore Prenzlauer Berg before collapsing at your hotel. Today’s Berlin is vibrant with youthful energy, and it’s changing fast. It offers more in-depth sightseeing information, several additional self-guided city walks and museum/sight tours, and more specifics on shopping and entertainment. It occurred to me that most of these people were old enough to remember the difficult times after World War II, when their city lay in rubble. (And shortly after that inspirational Berlin visit, I wrote an entirely new kind of book that develops that notion, called Travel as a Political Act.). They were sent to concentration camps where they were eventually killed. By Rick Steves While most European capitals have a handful of clear-cut "must-see" sights, Berlin is more of a "choose your own adventure" destination. Start a New Topic . by Rick Steves. While the Nazis blamed a communist plot, some believe that Hitler himself planned the fire. 13:00  Grab a quick Currywurst lunch near Museum Island. Paperback. Over my last few visits to the city, I can see the irony that in some ways, Speer’s vision of a dynamic new Berlin dominating Europe could be coming true. the first third of the "Berlin City Walk" or "Best of Berlin Walk" in my Germany guidebook, Best of Germany guidebook, and Northern European Cruise Ports guidebook, and available as a free audio tour). 11:00  Tour the Gemäldegalerie; have lunch at a museum café or on Potsdamer Platz. Afternoon:  Explore Hackescher Markt and nearby sights (laid out as the "Scheunenviertel Walk" in my Berlin guidebook), then visit the Palace of Tears; with additional time, choose from the "Days 4–7" options, below. With knowledge of the past, we can better appreciate the significance of what’s happening today. Democracy is fragile. I enjoy it, too. Rick Steves' Europe. What an exciting moment for them: the opening of this grand building was the symbolic closing of a difficult chapter in the history of a great nation. 13:00  Take a Spree River cruise with a picnic lunch. A city of leafy boulevards, grand Neoclassical buildings, world-class art, and glitzy shopping arcades, it's vibrant with youth, energy, and an anything-goes-and-anything's-possible buzz. While most European capitals have a handful of clear-cut "must-see" sights, Berlin is more of a "choose your own adventure" destination. And, in good European fashion, the Germans didn’t bulldoze their parliament building. By Rick Steves Special to the Star Thu., March 6, 2014 timer 4 min. By Rick Steves Special to the Star Fri., May 9, 2014 timer 4 min. There's plenty to see and do here. In Berlin, it’s clear that history is not contained in a book — it envelops the entire city. In Berlin, we explore museums dedicated to the history of the gone-but-not-forgotten Wall. Evening:  Have dinner in the Scheunenviertel or Prenzlauer Berg. 14:30  Follow my guidebook's Communist East Berlin Walk (or the final third of the "Berlin City Walk" / "Best of Berlin Walk"). Germany's Hamburg and the Luther Trail . The Berlin Wall. You can also find clips related to this story at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Berlin. Posted on July 23, 2012 June 11, 2017. Berlin today is the nuclear fuel rod of a great nation, and no tour of Germany is complete without a look at its historic and reunited capital. For tourists unaware of history, it was just a new dome to climb, offering another vantage point on the city. To quaint villages and modern cities: experience Germany with Rick Steves ' Europe the! Be a big part of your vacation celebration for capitalism and its defeat of.... S vibrant city is hog heaven his mission: to empower Americans to have trips... 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