Berlin Historical Association
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This synopsis of past events is designed so that potential future members may have an overview of the tours and lectures that BHA has arranged previously.  Details of forthcoming events may be found on the "Programme" page.  Suggestions for future events are most welcome, and should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last updated on 16 October 2017.

14 September 2017 - Berlin Supreme Court (Kammergericht)

The Berlin Supreme Court (Kammergericht) was built between 1909 and 1913.  From August 1944 until January 1945 the building was used for the show trial of the participants in the attack on Hitler in July 1945.  After WWII the building was requisitioned for use by the Allied Control Council, which met there until the Soviets walked out of the Council in March 1948.  The Four Power Conference between the USA, UK, France and the Soviet Union was held here from March 1970 until the signing of the Four Power Agreement on 3 September 1971. 

6 September 2017 - Special Exhibition at the Allied Museum.

This special exhibition at the Allied Museum, entitled "100 Objects. Berlin during The Cold War", presents 100 artefacts (rather than copies) that actually stem from the Cold War and have an historical story to tell, either from the West or from the East. Together, the seemingly commonplace, everyday items create a multi-faceted picture of the era. 

2 September 2017 - Olympic Village 1936.

Such was the demand for the tour on 8 July, that a second tour was arranged for those on the reserve list.

8 July 2017 - Olympic Village 1936

During the 11th Summer Olympic Games in 1936 this village was both the home and the training ground for 4,000 athletes from more than 50 nations.  After the war it was used by the Soviet forces before being abandoned in 1994.  Between 2009-2013 a programme of restoration and preservation was carried out by the Deutsche Kredit Bank (DKB) Foundation. 

10 June 2017 - Liebermann Villa  
In 1909, Max Liebermann had a summer residence built on Lake Wannsee, which he proudly called his “lakeside palace”.  It was here, away from the commotion of city life, that he found much-needed tranquillity and the principal subject matter for his later work.  This guided tour of the Villa, gardens and permanent exhibition will last about 1 hour. 

13 May 2017 - Tour of the Bavarian Quarter
The Bavarian Quarter (Bayerische Viertel) in Schöneberg was built between 1898 and 1908, and its streets were all named after Bavarian towns. The emphasis of this walking tour of the Bayerische Viertel will be on the street sign monument ‘Orte des Erinnerns’, or “Places of Remembrance”, a memorial to the Jews of Berlin-Schöneberg.

6 May 2017 - German Colonialism
Our tour will consist of a 90-minute walk, with a brief introduction to German colonialism, along the Mohrenstrasse. The walking tour will end at the German History Museum where we will have a 60-minute tour of the special exhibit German Colonialism: Fragments Past and Present.

15 April 2017 - Exhibition in the Ephraim Palace
For centuries, the Berlin Palace dominated the city. Following severe damage during the Second World War, GDR authorities decided to demolish it. It is now being rebuilt with a contemporary function, as the Humboldt Forum. This special exhibition at the Ephraim-Palais is dedicated to the Berlin Palace and its significance for the city and its residents.

18 March 2017 Ottobock Science Centre
The Ottobock Science Centre belongs to Otto Bock HealthCare, a Berlin company founded in 1919. This tour of the three-storey exhibition "Discover what moves us" offers the opportunity to learn more about one's own body in an interactive and playful manner.

17 February 2017 - Stasi Archives
The archives of the former "Stasi" comprise some 43 km of files, records, photographs and tape recordings that were amassed by the Ministry of State Security (MfS) in the GDR between 1950 and 1990. One of the main tasks of the archivists has been to restore and reconstruct as many records as possible in order to identify both the extent of Stasi operations and those who were involved.

14 January 2017 - Federal Chancellery
The Bundeskanzleramt houses the personal offices of the Chancellor and the Chancellery staff. During this bespoke tour, in English, we will be privileged to see many of the offices and other facilities used by the Chancellor and her staff.


--- 2016 ---

10 December 2016 - Day tour to Quedlinburg
For nearly 200 years Quedlinburg was a favourite imperial residence and site of imperial diets. Quedlinburg has more half-timbered houses than any other town in Germany.  The town escaped destruction during World War II and was liberated by the U.S. Army. Although treasured in GDR days, Quedlinburg was not very well preserved. Today the restored town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a joy to explore.

18 November 2016 - Federal Finance Ministry
The German Federal Finance Ministry is located in Wilhelmstrasse, in one of the few buildings to survive the war. It served as the headquarters of the Reich Aviation Ministry until the end of the war and was Herman Göring’s centre of power. Following reunification, parts of the building were occupied by the Treuhandanstalt, the agency charged with privatising the East German economy. The German Finance Ministry transferred its head office from Bonn to this building in 1999.

9 November 2016 - Special Exhibition at the Allied Museum
This special exhibition at the Allied Museum, entitled "100 Objects. Berlin during The Cold War", presents 100 artefacts (rather than copies) that actually stem from the Cold War and have an historical story to tell, either from the West or from the East. Together, the seemingly commonplace, everyday items create a multi-faceted picture of the era.

9 October 2016 - Ship Lift (Schiffshebewerk) Niederfinow
The Ship Lift at Niederfinow, which was begun in 1927 and commissioned in 1934, is both the oldest and the largest of the four ship lifts in Germany. Barges and other vessels are transported from one level to another through a vertical height of 36 metres. However, despite its size, a new, larger ship lift adjacent to this lift is currently nearing completion, and is planned to enter service in 2017.

17 September 2016 - Former Allied and Soviet Checkpoints
Checkpoint Charlie in the heart of Berlin was the most famous of the three former Allied Checkpoints; and the only one through which members of the Allied forces were allowed to pass when visiting East Berlin. However, there were two other Allied Checkpoints at the start and finish of the transit route (the so-called Autobahn Corridor) between West Germany and West Berlin that the Allies were required to use. This tour of the former Allied Checkpoints at Helmstedt (Alpha), Dreilinden (Bravo) and Friedrichstrasse (Charlie) includes concurrent visits to the former Soviet and East German Checkpoints at Marienborn as well as the site of the former original Soviet Checkpoint at Albrechts Teerofen.

24 August 2016 - Lecture
Michelle Logsdon, the Cultural Attaché at the US Embassy, spoke to members about memories of her first diplomatic posting in East Berlin, in a talk entitled "Berlin, Berlin...your heart knows no Walls". Her reminiscences of the events leading up to the "Fall of the Wall" as seen through the eyes of a young foreign service officer were both thoughtful and poignant, and raised many interesting questions from the audience.

16 July 2016 Science Quarter Berlin-Dahlem
The Science Quarter of Berlin Dahlem is sometimes described as "Germany's Oxford". The Kaiser Wilhelm Society, which was established in 1912 and which later became the Max Planck Society, sowed the seeds for one scientific success after another. Nobel Prize winners such as Albert Einstein, Otto Hahn and Werner Heisenberg all worked here. In 1948 the Free University was also established here. This tour guides us through the footsteps of the Nobel laureates.

25 June 2016 Glienicke Bridge
Talk and tour of Glienicke Bridge by former CIA agent, Eberhard Fätkenheuer, who was one of the prisoners exchanged on the Glienicke Bridge in 1985.

4 June 2016 Schönhausen Palace
Schönhausen Palace was used from 1740–97 as the summer residence of the Prussian queen Elisabeth Christine. After World War II it served as the official residence of East Germany’s (GDR) head of state, Wilhelm Pieck until 1960. After conversion to a state guest house in 1964, it was used to accommodate high-ranking official guests of the GDR government, such as Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev.

29 May 2016 Former British Sector HQ
The former British Sector HQ, adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, occupied accommodation that had been built for the Ministry of Sport prior to the 1936 Olympic Games. Two former British officers who worked here during the Cold War will explain how and by whom the buildings were used.

19 May 2016 AGM and talk by Australian Ambassador, H.E. David Ritchie AO

13 May 2016 ARD Studio
Following reunification, a new ARD Hauptstadtstudio was built on the banks of the River Spree. It was opened on 22 May 1999 and is one of the most modern digital television and radio studios in Europe. It is here that daily news programmes, such as “Tagesschau“ and “Tagesthemen“ are produced.

20 April 2016 Bellevue Palace
Bellevue Palace has been the principal residence of the Federal President since 1994. It was built at the end of the 18th century by Prince Ferdinand of Prussia in a mixture of neo-classical and baroque styles. The Palace was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in 1941 and was re-built between 1955 and 1959.

13 March 2016 Glienicke Palace
Glienicke Palace, on the banks of the Havel, resembles an Italian country villa. It was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the neo-classical style for Prince Carl and built in a park landscape that had already been laid out by a young and up-and-coming Peter Joseph Lenné.

25 February 2016 Lecture "Who was a Nazi?" Denazification in Germany after 1945.
Mr Bernd von Kostka, Curator at the Allied Museum, gave a lecture and a guided tour of his exhibition examining how some 8 million members of the Nazi party and Nazi organisations were subjected to close scrutiny and denazification in each of the four occupied zones of Germany. 

18 February 2016 Federal Foreign Ministry Archives
The Political Archive of the German Federal Foreign Office is the "memory" of the Foreign Service. It has preserved the files on German foreign policy since 1867, as well as the international treaties signed by the Federal Republic of Germany and its predecessors in title. Amongst these is the so-called "Two plus Four Treaty" of 1990 governing German reunification.

15 January 2016 - BMW Motorcycle Factory Berlin
BMW began production of motorcycles in this factory shortly after the end of WWII. Nowadays, up to 700 motorcycles are produced per day in this modern factory by approximately 2,000 employees.


---2015 ---

12 December 2015 - Day tour to Bautzen
Bautzen, formerly Budusin, lies in the centre of Oberlausitz and has a history dating back to 1002. In 1524, St Peter's Cathedral became the first interdenominational church in that part of Germany. During the Cold War, the East German Ministry of State Security (Stasi) imprisoned dissidents in one of its jails.

14 November 2015 - Germania Exhibition
In 1937, Albert Speer was given the task of transforming Berlin into Germania, the gleaming new capital of a Greater German "World Empire". The Grand Hall, for instance, with a dome sixteen times larger than St Peter's in Rome, would have accommodated 180,000 people. The exhibition exposes the myth of Hitler's and Speer's soaring ambitions and the crimes committed in the process.

10 October 2015 - Fort Hahneberg
Fort Hahneberg was built between 1882 and 1888 as the first of 4 forts that were intended to protect the munitions factories in Spandau. Architecturally stunning, and built with German precision, the fort is now a listed building maintained and preserved by volunteers.

3 October 2015 - Lecture
On the 25th anniversary of German reunification, BHA - together with the Allied Museum - was honoured to host a lecture by the last General Officer Commanding of the British Sector of Berlin, Major General Sir Robert Corbett.

19 September 2015 - Colditz Castle
Colditz Castle became infamous during WWII when it was used as a POW camp (Oflag-IVC) to imprison Allied officers who had escaped at least once from other POW camps and who were considered to be intent on escaping again. Ironically, their incarceration in Colditz only strengthened their resolve to escape!

30 August 2015 - Weißensee Jewish Cemetery
The Weißensee Jewish Cemetery is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. It was opened on 9 September 1880, covers approximately 42 hectares and contains over 115,000 graves.

5 August 2015 - Lecture
A talk by WW II veteran Mr. Svetoslao Hlopoff on the multilingual challenges at the Berlin Allied Kommandantura. Mr Hlopoff entered Berlin in the first convoy from Halle and worked at the Allied Kommandatura from 1945 to 1948.

19 July 2015 - Cecilenhof Palace
Kaiser Wilhelm II commissioned Cecilienhof Palace as a residence for his son Crown Prince William of Prussia and his wife Cecilie. In 1945 Cecilienhof Palace was selected as the venue for the Potsdam Conference, where Churchill, Truman and Stalin held their discussion on how to partition Germany.

16 July 2015 - Lecture
A talk on the topic “Berlin Brigade Checkpoint – Last Watch” by Lt Col Pete Rowell, Assistant Army Attaché, US Embassy Berlin. The speaker was posted to Helmstedt just as the Wall fell, and witnessed the last days of Soviet control over Allied traffic transiting the autobahn to and from Berlin.

20 June 2015 - Marienfelde Refugee Centre Museum
Marienfelde Refugee Centre (MRC), now a museum, was a symbol of freedom and hope during the Cold War. Approximately 1.35 million East German refugees passed through the MRC, where they were housed and cared for whilst undergoing the screening process (to ensure they were genuine refugees) and waiting for residence permits for West Germany.

13 June 2015 - Walking tour of the Hansa Quarter
Building of the original Hansa Quarter began in 1875. However, most of it was destroyed in WWII. Nonetheless, numerous signs of its existence and of its former glory are still to be found. This tour highlighted the re-building of the Hansa Quarter between 1955-57 and how it relates to the old quarter.

31 May 2015 - Berlin's Animal Park

20 May 2015 - AGM and talk by US Ambassador, John B. Emerson

18 April 2015 - House of the Wannsee Conference

28 March 2015 - Ephraim Palace

10 March 2015 - Tempelhof Central Airport

28 February 2015 - Stasi Museum

22 February 2015 - Dinner to mark the 20th Anniversary of BHA

12 February 2015 - Prussian Secret State Archives


--- 2014 ---

13 December 2014 - Day tour to Poznan

16 November 2014 - Walking Tour Berlin Orientation

15 November 2014 - KPM factory

3 Nov 14 Lecture - "Berlin Wall Revisited" by Professor Hope M. Harrison

19 Oct 14 Walking Tour - Berlin Orientation

12 Oct 14  Berlin Zoological Garden

25 Sep 14 Lecture - "History of the Berlin Zoos" by Ms Marianne Fischer

20 Sep 14 Seelow Heights

28 Aug 14 Talk - "Eyewitnesses look back". An Englishman and an American recall their experiences in Berlin from 1946 onwards: Mr Bill Sheckleston and Mr Bill Woods

23 Aug 14 201st Victory Celebration Großbeeren

19 Aug 14 Tempelhof Central Airport

26 Jul 14 Spandau Citadel

21 Jun 14 GDR's State Council Building

31 May 14 Allied Museum's Collection of large objects

15 May 14 AGM and talk by Mrs Joanna C. Melville and Mr James D. Melville, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy

12 Apr 14 Happy Birthday Schadow - Ephraim Palace

7 Mar 14 Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

25 Feb 14 Lecture - "Cold War in court - Trial of an East German hijacker" by Ms Marianne Fischer and Ms Doris Wilke

22 Feb 14 Border Experiences - Tränenpalast

9 Feb 14 Everyday life in the GDR - Kulturbrauerei

29 Jan 14 Lecture - "Escape from East Berlin" a personal account by Mr Leslie Colitt

26 Jan 14 Tempelhof Airport

22 Jan 14 Police Historical Collection


--- 2013 ---

14 Dec 13 Day tour to Leipzig

26 Nov 13 Lecture - "The Children's Airlift:1953-1957" - by Mr Bernd von Kostka

4 Nov 13 Bellevue Palace

10 Oct 13 Battle of the Nations - 200th anniversary

24 Sep 13 Talk and exhibition at the Allied Museum - "From GI Blues to GI Disco" by Dr Gundula Bavendamm

21 Sep 13 Haus des Rundfunks

7 Sep 13 Einstein's Berlin

29 Aug 13 Talk - "Life in Workers' Paradise" by Professor Michael C. Burda

24 Aug 13 200th Victory Celebration Großbeeren

7 Jul 13 Exhibition at Berlinische Galerie

25 Jun 13 Talk - "A non-fictional thriller: Henry Ries, the Quakers, the State Department and my mother's dramatic rescue from Nazi Germany" by Professor Vivien Fryd

27 May 13 AGM and talk "Visions of Berlin - Fifty years on" by The Honorable John C. Kornblum, former US Ambassador to Germany

23 Apr 13 Exhibition at Allied Museum - "Victors, Liberators, Occupiers - German Jews in the Service of the Allies" by Mr Daniel Schmiedke

11 Apr 13 Talk - "Berlin 1945-1990: The British commitment" by Dr Helmut Trotnow OBE

27 Mar 13 Exhibition at the Moroccan Embassy

23 Mar 13 Tour of the Olympic Stadium

23 Feb 13 DDR Museum

26 Jan 13 Berlin's Philharmonic Hall


--- 2012 ---

15 Dec 12 Day tour to Dresden

27 Nov 12 An evening with Mr Bill Woods - Retired US Army Europe Command Sergeant Major

27 Oct 12 Walking tour of Berlin

25 Oct 12 An evening with Mr Larry Norton - "The role of Pan Am during the Cold War"

21 Oct 12 Medieval Berlin - A Tale of Three Cities

7 Oct 12 Friederisko Exhibition Potsdam

23 Sep 12 Walking tour of Berlin

11 Sep 12 Lecture - "Fair Play. The Allies and Sports" - Dr Gundula Bavendamm, Director of the Allied Museum

11 Aug 12 Ephraim Palace.  Exhibition to commemorate Berlin's 775th anniversary "BerlinMakers 'n Shakers". 

15 Jul 12 Historic Jewish Berlin

9 Jun 12 Visit to medieval walled town of Bernau

24 May 12 AGM and talk - "A view from the other side of the fence" by Major Nigel Dunkley

19 May 12 Gründerzeit Museum

28 Apr 12 Tour of former US Army Berlin Headquarters

24 Mar 12 Marienfelde Refugee Centre Museum

19 Mar 12 Talk - "Distinguished visitors and historical events" by Mr Georg Bittner

23 Feb 12 Tour of Federal Finance Ministry

25 Jan 12 Lecture - "East German plans for an attack on West Berlin" by Colonel Winfried Heinemann PhD


--- 2011 ---

19 Nov 11 Tour of the Reichstag

20 Oct 11 Talk and exhibition - "Like a tinderbox! The Berlin Crisis and the building of the Wall" by Dr Gundula Bavendamm, Director of the Allied Museum

11 Oct 11 Talk - "Through Irish eyes: Diplomatic despatches from Berlin to Dublin during the 1930s and 1940s" by Ambassador of Ireland, Mr Dan Mulhall

10 Sep 11 Schönhausen Palace

26 Jul 11 Lecture - "Tapping Hitler's Generals - Perceptions of WWII" by Professor Sönke Neitzel PhD

25 Jun 11 Tel Halaf Exhibition - Pergamon Museum

23 Jun 11 Lecture - "Operation Plainfare - The Berlin Airlift from a British perspective" by Mr Oliver Groeling

18 Jun 11 Berlin 1939-1945 Commonwealth War Cemetery

30 Apr 11 Day trip to Torgau

14 Apr 11 Lecture - "Making the case - The Teufelsberg 'Field Station Berlin' as a Monument" by Katharina Beckmann, David Derksen, Florian Leitner and Robert Haesecke-Diesing

26 Mar 11 Berliner Dom

24 Feb 11 Lecture and exhibition "Revisited" of former Allied sites in Berlin by Mr Bernd von Kostka

29 Jan 11 "Hitler and the Germans. Nation and Crime"- German Historical Museum


--- 2010 ---

26 Oct 10 Talk - "Cold War - Hot Hits" about AFN Berlin through the '70s and '80s by Mr Rik de Lisle

4 Sep 10 German Resistance Memorial Centre - Bendler Block

24 Aug 10 Lecture - "The End of an Era" - Mr Robert Smith, former US Administrator of Aeronautics Berlin

14 Aug 10 Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt)

31 Jul 10 Peacock Island

28 Jun 10 Lecture - "The Canadian contribution to the security of Germany during the Cold War" by Colonel Tony Battista, Canadian Defence Attaché

19 Jun 10 Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

4 Jun 10 Tour of the Coca Cola Company in Berlin

23 Mar 10 Lecture - "City of Spies" by Mr Bernd von Kostka

6 Mar 10 Tour of the Humbold University

6 Feb 10 Tour of the KPM factory


--- 2009 ---

24 Nov 09 Talk on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall - Dr Helmut Trotnow OBE, Director of the Allied Museum

20 Oct 09 Lecture - "Federal Memorials of Berlin" by Mr Christian Freiesleben

10 Oct 09 "Myth of Germania" exhibition

12 Sep 09 The history of glazed tile stoves - Ceramic Museum Velten

29 Aug 09 Tour of the Olympic Stadium

14 Aug 09 Lecture - "From Rhine to Pariser Platz: Recollections of a time of change" by Ambassador Robert A. Bradtke, Chargé d'Affaires, US Embassy Berlin

25 Jul 09 Jewish life in Berlin - a tour of the Scheunenviertel and Spandauer Vorstadt

25 Jun 09 Lecture - "Twenty years after - US Public Diplomacy in the GDR" by Mr Peter R. Claussen

20 Jun 09 Berlin Medical History Museum

6 Jun 09 Exhibition - Tour of Special Exhibition - "Marion S Coleman - An American in Berlin. 1946-1953"

26 May 09 Lecture - "A survivor's memories of Oskar and Emilie Schindler" by Dr Alexander White

14 May 09 Panel discussion - "Airlift succeeds - Berlin blockade lifted" - Memories and experiences of Berlin Airlift veterans from the USA and UK

29 Apr 09 Lecture - "Overview of the Canadian Forces and the Canadian participation in the Afghanistan mission" by Colonel Tony Battista, Canadian Defence Attaché

18 Apr 09 Tour of Max Liebermann's Summer Villa

27 Feb 09 Lecture - "Bells for the King of Prussia - The history and tradition of carillons in Berlin and Potsdam" by Mr Jeffrey Bossin

12 Feb 09 Prussian Secret State Archives

31 Jan 09 Information Centre - Rebuilding of the Stadt Schloss

29 Jan 09 Lecture - "Transformation of the Luftwaffe since the fall of the Wall" Lieutenant General Klaus-Peter Stieglitz


--- 2008 ---

22 Nov 08 Willy Brandt Exhibition - Rathaus Schöneberg

20 Nov 08 Lecture - "The Battle for Berlin" by Colonel Robin Greenham

11 Oct 08 Tour of the Berlin Carillon by Mr Jeffrey Bossin

9 Sep 08 Lecture - "The Unheralded - Men and Women of the Blockade and Airlift" by Dr Edwin A. Gere

12 Jul 08 Photographic exhibition of the Berlin blockade - German Historical Museum

19 Apr 08 Tour of the House of the Wannsee Conference

29 Mar 08 Tour of the "The Kennedys" Museum

15 Feb 08 Tour of Deutschland Radio (formerly RIAS)

31 Jan 08 Tour of the Embassy of the Netherlands

22 Jan 08 Lecture - "Attempted penetrations and recruitment of "moles" at the Marienfelde Refugee Centre Berlin" by Major Arik Komets USAF (Ret)


--- 2007 ---

27 Nov 07 Tour of former GDR Radio HQ (Rundfunkhaus)

20 Nov 07 Ronald Reagan Exhibition - "Tear down this Wall"

21 Oct 07 Tour of Deutsche Oper Berlin

28 Sep 07 Lecture - "The secret labour camp of the Stasi" by Mr Hans-Eberhard Zahn

15 Sep 07 Tour of Hohenschönhausen Memorial (Stasi Prison)

30 Aug 07 Lecture - "Living and working in former East Berlin" John M. Koenig, Chargé d'Affaires, US Embassy

25 Aug 07 Tour of McNair Museum (former US barracks)

11 Jul 07 Tour of the Seeberg complex

22 Jun 07 Tour of Tempelhof Airport

28 Apr 07 Visit to the Luftwaffen Museum Gatow

19 Apr 07 Lecture - "The Battle of Leipzig, 14-19 Oct 1813" by Herr Thomas Rath

29 Mar 07 Lecture - "Beyond Four Power Control" by Ms Alison Singer

24 Mar 07 Lecture - "The mystery of Frankenberg's Canadian airman" by Mr Peter Hessel

16 Mar 07 Tour of Deutsche Welle studios

01 Mar 07 Tour of the South African Embassy

23 Jan 07 Lecture - "A Jewish eyewitness remembers" by Dr Werner T. Angress

19 Jan 07 Tour of the Federal Foreign Office