Last updated on 09 Nov 2023.
Tuesday 7 Nov 2023 - Showing of Billy Wilder's 1961 film "One, Two, Three".
When Billy Wilder’s crew were filming the movie “One, Two, Three” at the Brandenburg Gate in August 1961 they were surprised one morning: Suddenly there was a wall. The rest of “One, Two, Three” had to be filmed in Munich with a false Brandenburg Gate – and when the film reached the theatres it was a box-office flop. Nobody wanted to laugh about a divided Berlin in the shadow of a wall, refugees killed whilst trying to flee, and the threat of a war. 24 years later the film, still black and white, was released again – and was celebrated as one of the greatest political comedies of movie history. And some quotes are history itself, like “We will go to Moscow and we will have a beautiful little flat, just five minutes away from the bathroom.” Or the Russian diplomat talking about Cuba, who says “They sent us cigars, we sent them rockets” – when the missile crisis in Cuba did not unfold until more than a year later. The instructions at the front of Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's screenplay reads: "This piece must be played molto furioso. Suggested speed: 110 miles an hour--on the curves--140 miles an hour in the straightaways."
Saturday 28 Oct 2023 - Guided tour of the Topography of Terror.
The major focus of the permanent exhibition of the “Topography of Terror” is on the central institutions of the SS and police in the Third Reich and the crimes they committed across Europe. The exhibition panels mostly present historical photographs supplemented by introductory texts and short quotes. Under the panels are consoles where thematically arranged documents are displayed. The exhibition is in five chapters:
The National-Socialist seizure of power
Institutions of terror (SS and police)
Terror, persecution and mass murder in the Reich
The SS and the Reich Security Main Office in the occupied territories
The end of the war and post-war period
In addition to the permanent exhibition there are two further exhibitions dealing with “The House Prison of the Gestapo Berlin 1933-1945” and the site itself with a remaining section of the Berlin Wall.
Saturday 16 Sep 2023 - Guided tour of the Secession Exhibition at the Alte Nationalgalerie.
This exhibition is dedicated to a comparison of the three late-19th century art metropolises: Munich, Vienna, and Berlin. As modernism dawned, the artistic avant-gardes pushed for freedom in both the institutions of art and the subject matter it expresses. The exhibition comprises more than 200 paintings, sculptures, and graphic works by 80 artists. These artists sought a departure (or secession) from traditional artists’ associations and outdated structures such as the art academies. The most significant secessions in German-speaking Europe emerged in quick succession, their members overlapping: in 1892 in Munich, 1897 in Vienna, and 1899 in Berlin. Even today, they continue to be connected with the influential protagonists Gustav Klimt, Franz von Stuck, and Max Liebermann and their work. The exhibition also features works by many lesser-known artists, as well as showcasing the œuvre of Gustav Klimt with numerous examples of his work. This is the first time such a comprehensive presentation of Klimt’s work has been shown in Berlin.
Thursday 7 Sep 2023 - Talk by Dr Grace Huxford about her book "The Korean War in Britain".
The Korean War 1950-1953 was the first major armed conflict of the Cold War. Together with 25 other countries, the United Kingdom sent troops to fight on the side of the South Koreans under the flag of the United Nations. Dr. Grace Huxford, senior lecturer in modern history at the University of Bristol (UK) and author of the book The Korean War in Britain sheds light on the British involvement and on the remembrance of the Korean War in the UK. The Allied Museum opened a new exhibition on 27 Jul entitled “DMZ - The Last Frontier of the Cold War” which draws parallels between the Berlin Wall and the wall that has divided North and South Korea for the past 70 years. This exhibition will be open before and after the talk. Florian Pauls, the Collections Manager at the Allied Museum, has very kindly offered to give members of BHA a tour of the exhibition before Grace Huxford’s talk.
Tuesday 5 Sep 2023 - Annual General Meeting.
Saturday 26 Aug 2023 - Guided tour of Rixdorf.
After the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, a re-Catholicization took place in Bohemia, which led to many Protestants leaving the country. In 1737, 350 refugees settled at the suggestion and invitation of Friedrich Wilhelm I in the area of Rixdorf, where the municipality of Richardsdorp had been located since 1360, which was divided into German Rixdorf and Bohemian Rixdorf. Both communities received their own administration. In 1805 Bohemian-Rixdorf had 319 and German-Rixdorf 376 inhabitants. On 28 April 1849, a firestorm swept through both villages, burning down a total of 52 of the 135 houses in Deutsch-Rixdorf and the 56 houses in Bohemian-Rixdorf. Reconstruction was completed in 1853, although the original architecture was not always preserved. An exception is the building at Richardstrasse 80 (headquarters of the German Comenius Society). The two independent municipalities of Böhmisch-Rixdorf and Deutsch-Rixdorf were merged into the new municipality of Rixdorf by decree of 11 July 1873. On 1 April 1899, the municipality of Rixdorf received city rights and on 27 January 1912, with the consent of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the name was changed to "Neukölln" on his 53rd birthday. Eight years later on 1 October 1920 the urban district of Neukölln, together with the neighbouring communities of Britz, Buckow and Rudow, were incorporated into Greater Berlin as the 14th administrative district (Neukölln) as part of the Greater Berlin Act. The entire building ensemble of the former Bohemian Rixdorf is listed as a Bohemian Village and is considered a cultural monument.
Sat 5 Aug 2023 - Guided tour of the Heavy Load-Bearing Body Information Centre.
The “Heavy Load-Bearing Body” bears witness to the most megalomaniacal construction project Berlin has ever seen. In 1941 a technical structure was erected in the immediate vicinity of the planned triumphal arch to test the load-bearing capability of the construction site for the monumental building on the North-South Axis that was to be at the centre of Germania. The so-called Heavy Load-Bearing Body, a cylindrical weighting construction made of solid concrete, has a diameter of 21 metres. It protrudes 14 metres high above ground and extends 18 metres below ground. French forced labourers were used in its construction. The Heavy Load-Bearing Body was not intended to be demolished later, but to be buried under the new road. The North-South Axis was never completed in its planned form. All that remains – like a warning from the past – is the twelve thousand tonnes Heavy Load-Bearing Body.
Sun 30 Jul 2023 - Guided tour of Touro College.
Touro College was founded in New York City in 1970 by Dr. Bernard Lander as a Liberal Arts college. Since the 1970s, the expansion of the college has reached California, Nevada, Montana, Illinois, New Mexico, Israel, Russia, and Germany. In 2001, Dr. Lander collaborated with Sara Nachama to establish Touro College in Berlin. The choice of Germany’s capital for the location of the new campus was based on two factors, the college’s profound Jewish history and the cohesion of communities in Berlin. Touro Berlin opened in 2003 with 18 students enrolled in the International Business programme. This programme eventually became the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business Management.Touro College campus is housed in an historic Bauhaus villa with a long history, in the district of Charlottenburg. Originally the home of the Lindemann family, the main house was designed by the famed German architect Bruno Paul. When the Nazis seized power in the 1930s, the Lindemann home in Am Rupenhorn became the official residence of Hanns Kerrl, the Reichskirchsminister (The Reich’s Church Minister). When the war ended in 1945, the house was handed over to the Allied Forces and was used as a learning centre for the British Military. It was later handed back to the Berlin government and, in the 1950s, was used as a pedagogical and educational centre. Touro acquired a lease of the property in 2003.
Schloss Tegel was acquired by the Humboldt family in 1765 and is where the brothers Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt grew up. Under the guidance of Wilhelm von Humboldt, who took over the property in 1797 after the death of his mother, the manor house, also known as the "Humboldtschloss", was redesigned in the classicist style between 1820 and 1824 according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Schinkel integrated the existing Renaissance building into a four-wing building complex with corner towers and matched the interior design. The building includes, among other things, the Blue Salon, the Antique Hall and the Blue Tower Cabinet. In 1820 the palace park was extensively redesigned by Peter Joseph Lenné, and most of it has been preserved to this day. The east-west avenue of linden trees laid out in 1792, on which there is also the 400-year-old Wilhelm von Humboldt oak tree, leads to the Humboldt family grave site laid out in 1829 according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. This is overlooked by a thirty-foot-tall granite column, from whose Ionic capital a marble statue of Hope looks down upon the graves.
Thu 29 Jun 2023 - Book presentation by Dr Helmut Trotnow OBE, first Director of the Allied Museum.
Dr Helmut Trotnow OBE, the first and founding Director of the Allied Museum, presented his book “Erinnerungen” exclusively to members of the Berlin Historical Association. The Allied Museum documents the influence and work of the Western Allies in Germany from the end of World War II until the 1990s. There is probably no one who could describe the history of the Allied Museum more knowledgeably than he. In his book, Dr Trotnow outlines the rocky road from the initial idea to the establishment and opening of the Museum. His history of the Museum is more than simply a cultural-historical document. It opens up a fascinating panorama of contemporary history. Famous and not so famous individuals become tangible as human beings, whilst world historical events receive a new perspective.
17 Jun 2023 - Guided tour of the former Teufelsberg listening station.
The Teufelsberg is a man-made hill formed after WWII by rubble from buildings that had been destroyed during the war. The site for the hill was selected partially because Hitler’s plans for Germania had included a university faculty for military technology, construction of which had already begun on this site before the war ended. Upon completion of the rubble hill it acquired the name “Teufelsberg” (Devil’s Hill). In the 1950s the American Forces built an installation with antennae and radomes for the purpose of intercepting and listening to Soviet and East German radio communications in order to gather intelligence about Eastern Bloc activities. This eavesdropping facility developed over time into one of the Allies’ most important spy stations whose secrets became the focus for penetration both by the Soviets and the East Germans.
13 May 2023 - Guided tour of the Plaster Cast collection of the Free University.
The Collection of Ancient Plaster-casts (Abguss-Sammlung) at the Free University Berlin includes around 2,100 casts of Greek and Roman sculptures. It is used for university teaching and research and, as a museum, is also intended to make ancient sculptures accessible to a broad public. The collection continues the tradition of the famous cast collection, founded as early as 1696, which was on display in the 19th century in the 'Neues Museum' on Berlin's Museum Island and most recently from 1921 to 1944 in the Friedrich Wilhelm University with around 2500 casts. This old collection was largely destroyed in 1950/51. Today's exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the history and manifestations of Greek and Roman sculpture. The chronological time-span extends from the Cycladic culture of the 3rd millennium BC to geometric and archaic sculpture, from classical and Hellenistic sculpture, to sculpture from the Roman and Byzantine Empires up to around 500 AD. Selected pieces from other ancient cultures in the Mediterranean region complete the collection.
1 May 2023 - Talk by Major General Peter Williams CMG OBE.
Major General Peter Williams qualified as a Russian interpreter in 1981 and spent four years during the 1980s in BRIXMIS, the British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in East Germany. He subsequently served in the former Yugoslavia and, finally, as the first Head of the NATO Military Liaison Mission to the Russian Federation. The subject of his talk was "The West and Russia - A dream that died".
22 Apr 2023 - Guided tour of the German Resistance Memorial Centre.
What if Count Stauffenberg had succeeded? The 20 July 1944 is a pivotal moment in German history, although the day changed almost nothing and was forgotten for decades. Not until the seventies were memories evoked and the conspirators deemed to be heroes. In 1980 the German Resistance Memorial Centre was opened at the place where Colonel Count Stauffenberg and other conspirators were shot after the failed assassination attempt. The memorial is in the grounds of the Federal Ministry of Defence, but it is explicitly not only for the military resistance. Historians agree that there was no united, national resistance movement in Nazi Germany at any time during Hitler's years in power. But there were several individual groups. We will have the chance to learn more about two of them: The Rote Kapelle (Red Orchestra) referred to a loose network of resistance groups, connected through personal contacts, uniting hundreds of opponents of the Nazi regime. They distributed prohibited leaflets, aided Jews, documented the atrocities of the Nazis, and transmitted military intelligence to the Allies. The Kreisauer Kreis was a group of about twenty-five dissidents led by Helmuth James von Moltke, the great-grandnephew of Helmuth von Moltke. It was an intellectual circle that discussed how they would reorganise the German government after the end of the Third Reich. Most of the members died at the hands of the Gestapo.
17 Apr 2023 - Talk by Brigadegeneral Frank Gräfe.
Brigadier General Gräfe spoke to BHA about the Luftwaffe of the 21st century, its current operations as a NATO partner and the challenges that it faces.
25 Mar 2023 - Guided tour of the Samurai Museum.
The Samurai Museum of Berlin is Europe’s first museum of Samurai art. We will be guided through the museum and be exposed to the life and heritage of Japan's legendary warrior elite. The Samurai (or bushi) were the warriors of pre-modern Japan. They later made up the ruling military class which eventually became the highest ranking social caste of the Edo Period (1603-1867). The Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrows, spears and guns, but their main weapon and symbol was the sword. More than 1,000 objects reveal the extraordinary artistry of traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Also on view is a multimedia installation that brings the distant era to life. One can zoom in to gigapixel images to uncover minute details, follow the labour-intensive processes of Japanese sword making, and watch virtual Noh and Taiko performances. The tour is designed to provide an overview of the museum's vast collection of Samurai art; certainly one of the largest collections in Europe. The interactive displays and virtual performances give the viewer the chance to engage more in depth with Samurai culture and its meaning for Japanese culture up to the time of its downfall in the 1860s after Japan was forced to open up to Western trade.
17 Mar 2023 - Talk by Sir Barney White-Spunner on his book, "Berlin: The Story of a City".
Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB, CBE spoke to BHA about his recent book that tells the story of this extraordinary city from its medieval origins to the present day, describing it as a city on the edge – geographically, culturally, politically and morally. A city that has given rise to movements that changed Europe – the Reformation, Marxism and Fascism. This is a story of tension and contradiction, of ground-breaking cultural experiment and artistic and social liberation. It is the compelling story of a unique, absorbing and multi-faceted city.
26 Feb 2023 - Guided tour of the New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum.
The New Synagogue Berlin in Oranienburger Street was opened in 1866 and used to be one of the best-known places of Jewish worship in Germany. It was not only a newly-erected and magnificent building, but also a place for new rituals: An organ, a mixed choir, a prayer book in German, and the first female Rabbi in the world (who was ordained in 1935). Today, one of the remaining rooms is used as a synagogue, and once again its congregation is introducing innovations. We will view the contemporary synagogue as well as the permanent exhibition and explore themes of tradition and modernity. And we will be invited to discuss themes such as hope, uncertainty, destruction and Jewish self-determination.
21 Jan 2023 - Johann Gottfried Schadow exhibition.
The life-size double statue of Princesses Louise and Frederica of Prussia, known as the “Princess Group”, is Johann Gottfried Schadow’s (1764–1850) magnum opus. Seen as the founder of the Berlin School of sculpture, Schadow came to epitomise German Neoclassicism, with this work being emblematic of the movement. As the first sculpture depicting two female historical figures, this work wrote art history, and continues to be a highlight for visitors to Berlin from around the world. Two years earlier, at the age of 29, Schadow had completed his first masterpiece, the goddess Victoria in her chariot with the four horses, which for the last 230 years has been a symbol of Berlin, if not of Germany. The first retrospective in some 30 years, this exhibition presents Schadow’s major sculptural, graphic and art-theoretical works, arranged into 11 thematic sections. Following extensive conservation and restoration work, the original plaster model (from 1795) is exhibited alongside the original marble rendering (1797) for the first time ever.
3 Dec 2022 - BHA Christmas Dinner.
19 Nov 2022 - Guided tour of the Parliamentary History Exhibition at the Deutscher Dom.
Berlin, as the capital of Germany, is home to the Bundestag, the legislative centre of government. Starting with the beginnings of democracy in Germany, the exhibition focuses on its development and the various phases of the institution in German history. The exhibition begins with the rebellion of 1848, and progresses through the Bismarck era and the formation of the German Empire (Kaiserreich) to the development of the political party system in Germany during the Kaiserreich. There is an emphasis on the Weimar government and the weakness of its constitution, leading to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. This is followed then by the development of the Basic Law and the modern German political system. The exhibition follows up and finishes with a discussion of the various constitutions that Germany has had since 1849.
15 Oct 2022 - Guided tour of the Altstadt Magdeburg.
Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor and founder of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg, was buried in the city's cathedral after his death. Until 1631, Magdeburg was one of the largest and most prosperous German cities and a notable member of the Hanseatic League. Magdeburg has been destroyed twice in its history: Firstly, the Catholic League sacked Magdeburg in 1631, resulting in the death of 25,000 non-combatants, the largest loss of the Thirty Years' War. Secondly, the Allies bombed the city in 1945, destroying much of it. In 2005 Magdeburg celebrated its 1200th anniversary.
This guided walking tour will take us to the city’s old market square (Alter Markt) and its “Magdeburg Horseman” statue and to St John’s Church, in which Martin Luther once preached. We will also visit Romanesque buildings such as the Art Museum in the Monastery of Our Lady and have the chance to find out more about the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his vision of architecture in harmony with nature, which he brought to life in the Green Citadel of Magdeburg. The tour ends at the Romanesque Art Centre, which is located in close proximity to Magdeburg Cathedral, the city’s over 800-year-old landmark.
17 Sep 2022 - Guided walking tour of "Rebellious Berlin".
Berlin has had a history of Rebellion and in a two-hour walking tour through the city centre we will follow the tracks of the history of protest in Berlin. Berlin’s history was not only formed by the sovereigns and their performance as rulers, but also by its inhabitants of all walks of life; and the protests by all levels of society form part of this history as well. Interesting and gripping incidents will be explained on the spot where they took place. The extensive history of rebellion and resistance in Berlin ranges from the “Berliner Unwillen” (Berlin discontent) in the 15th century, the revolution of 1848 and the German Revolution of 1918–19, to the uprising in East Berlin on the 17th of June 1953, the protests of 1968, and the so-called peaceful revolution of 1989 until the present.
27 Aug 2022 - Guided tour of the Huguenot Museum.
The Huguenots were a religious group of French Protestants who in the 16th and 17th centuries faced increasing hostility from the Catholics in France and the eventual abolition of their political and military privileges. This resulted in great numbers fleeing France and settling in many different countries. The word “Huguenots” was meant as a slur, but the Protestants in France used it themselves and turned it into a neutral, if not positive, term. Three centuries ago they were called “Réfugiés” when Prussia accepted about 20,000 of them who were fleeing from persecution in France. They were noble, but not selfless, because the French were highly educated and gave Berlin and Prussia a boost in a cultural and economical sense. The Edict of Potsdam in 1685 gave them special privileges as well as churches in which to worship, one of which was the Französischer Dom. And other traces can still be seen in today’s Berlin, such as the area the Réfugiés called after the bible, Terre de Moab. Today it is known as Moabit. Descendants of the Huguenots include people like the de Maizières and Theodor Fontane. And the words that some Berliners use when speaking, such as Klamauk, plärren, etepetete or Kinkerlitzchen, have their roots with the Huguenots. BHA is pleased to offer one of the rare tours of the Hugenotten-Museum in the Französischer Dom in Berlin.
30 Jul 2022 - Guided tour of the Karl Marx Exhibition.
Karl Marx never used the word “Kapitalismus”. Even in “Das Kapital” you can find the words “Kapitalist” and “kapitalistische Produktionsweise“, but never „Kapitalismus“ from Marx’s hand. But for many, Marx is the philosopher who explained capitalism – and how to overturn it. He was successful at least at home: And although he had a lot of supporters, he was always broke. "All I know is that I am not a 'Marxist'!", he said about himself. The exhibition "Karl Marx and Capitalism" presents and scrutinises the work of Marx as an examination of the dynamically changing capitalism and the controversies of the 19th century. The focus is on topics such as criticism of religion and society, emancipation of Jews and anti-Semitism, revolutions, new technologies, nature and ecology, economics as well as struggles and movements in Europe - topics that have lost none of their explosive power even today. This exhibition thus links Marx's historicising with questions about his topicality. At the same time, it takes a critical look at the reception of his theories in the 20th and 21st centuries. Millions of people were killed in the name of Marxism. Marx himself was not keen to be criticised: "I have, of course, kept my arguments in such a way that I am also right in the reverse case."
9 Jul 2022 - Guided tour of the Invalidenfriedhof.
Is the Invalidenfriedhof the German Arlington? A clear Jein, because although this is a cemetery for soldiers, but it is different. And older, more than a century, than Arlington. This is a place for Prussian history and it, more or less, started and ended with this kingdom in Germany. It was used and misused by the Nazis and played a role in the era of the “Mauer”. And today? History, military, and Prussia, are three things combined without a lobby in modern-day Germany.
Let’s walk among the tombstones. Let’s have a look at the final resting places of Gerhard von Scharnhorst and Helmut von Moltke (unfortunately only the Younger), Alfred von Schlieffen and Max Hoffmann, Hans von Seeckt and Werner von Fritsch. Pilots too are here, like Manfred von Richthofen und Olivier von Beaulieu-Marconnay or Ernst Udet and Werner Mölders. Also buried here is the aviatrix Marga von Etzdorf. So too are Nazis like Fritz Todt and Reinhard Heydrich, although their graves are not marked anymore. Here as well is Hitler’s adjutant, Rudolf Schmundt, who died when he was killed instead of Hitler in the July plot of 1944. Or Wilhelm Staehle, who died because he fought Hitler. Who was the most successful submarine captain ever? You have probably never heard his name but you can visit his grave here in Berlin. And we will also hear the story of Wolfgang Röhling and Walter Peter Göring.
14 May 2022 - Tour of the House of the Wannsee Conference.
The House of the Wannsee Conference is where the details of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, the logistics of the Holocaust, were finalized and as such has an important symbolic role for the history of the 20th Century and for Berlin in particular. The house was owned by a German industrialist who fell out of favour with the Nazi Government which then confiscated his home and turned it into a SS Conference Centre and Guest House for the war. At noon on 20 January 1942, a meeting of approximately 90 minutes took place in the dining room of the SS guesthouse. Representatives of the SS, the NSDAP and various Reich ministries attended this meeting, which was convened by Reinhard Heydrich, Head of the Security Police and SD. Heydrich's aim was to emphasise his leading role in the deportations and to involve important ministries and party departments in the preparations for the murder of the European Jews. The participants presented proposals and raised objections depending on the interests of the authorities they were representing, but overall they showed that they were willing to cooperate. In the process, the leading officials in the German state administration became accessories to, and perpetrators of, the crime. Today the House is an historical building, memorial and an education facility that views itself as an inclusive institution to inform the public regarding the events that occurred there. The permanent exhibition is entitled "The Meeting at Wannsee and the Murder of the European Jews". The museum has various online exhibits that may be viewed from home as well.
09 Apr 2022 - Tour of the Jewish Museum.
The Jewish Museum Berlin was opened in 2001 and is the largest Jewish Museum in Europe. On 3,500 square metres of floor space, the museum presents the history of Jews in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present day. Essentially, it consists of two buildings – a baroque old building, the “Kollegienhaus” (that formerly housed the Berlin Museum) and a new building by Daniel Libeskind. The two buildings have no visible connection above ground. The Libeskind building is a twisted zig-zag and is accessible only via an underground passage from the old building. On this tour of the exhibition we will be shown museum highlights including the museum collection, the family estates, an acoustic search for traces, decipher medieval documents, and delve deeper into 21st century media. We will follow turbulent Jewish history between exclusion and belonging and learn how Jews see their Jewish identity today. The tour will also include an architectural overview of the new museum.
05 Mar 2022 - Visit to Archenhold Observatory.
The Archenhold-Sternwarte in Treptow Park is the oldest and largest public observatory in Germany. Since the Berlin Exhibition of 1896, visitors have been able to observe the sky here with the “Großer Refraktor”, the longest movable refracting telescope in the world, called “the Sky Cannon”. This refracting telescope has an aperture of 70 centimetres and a focal length of 21 metres. The total weight is 130 tonnes and its design allows it to move freely in any direction and at any height. The building's attractions include the historic Einstein Hall, the Zeiss-Kleinplanetarium (small planetarium) and a Museum of Astronomy with meteorites and historic telescopes. The telescope has something in common with the Eiffel Tower, because it was also supposed to be dismantled after the exhibition. But Archenhold collected donations and operated the facility as a “Volkssternwarte”, a public observatory, aimed not only at scientists but also at interested lay-people. On June 2 1915, a young physicist gave a presentation about his brand new, not yet published theory of General Relativity. His name was Albert Einstein. Archenhold died 1939 in Berlin, less than two weeks after his 80th birthday. The observatory had previously been run by his son, but he was hounded out of office by the National Socialists. The Archenholds were Jews. His widow, Alice, died in Theresienstadt in 1943, as did his daughter Hilde. Since 1946 the observatory bears his name.
12 Feb 2022 - Tour of the PalaisPopulaire.
The Princesses’ Palace is a former Royal Prussian residence on Unter den Linden. It was built in 1733 according to plans by Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs in Rococo style, and from 1810-1811 extended in Neoclassical style. Damaged during Allied bombing in World War II the Prinzessinnenpalais was rebuilt from 1963 to 1964. Since 2018, it has been home to an art collection of Deutsche Bank. The Palace is now an innovative platform for art and culture. Today, behind the baroque façade there is state-of-the-art technology and clear, contemporary architecture. Situated in the heart of Berlin, the PalaisPopulaire amalgamates tradition and the future. “Populaire,” or “popular,” means that the Palais is open to all. The PalaisPopulaire is a forum for people who want to experience art and culture in an interdisciplinary way under one roof. To this end, the museum offers a wide-ranging programme that brings together diverse aspects of contemporary culture. This includes exhibitions from the Deutsche Bank Collection and presentations of the “Artist of the Year” programme.
15 Jan 2022 - Tour of the Museum for Communication.
The Museum for Communication Berlin is regarded as the world’s oldest postal museum. It was founded in 1872 on the initiative of Postmaster General Heinrich von Stephan. Over the years, it has had a turbulent history. Whilst closed during World War II, the majority of the collection was evacuated for safe-keeping. The building was badly damaged in the war and, in a divided post-war Germany, was located in East Berlin. In 1958, after it was provisionally refurbished, it opened again as the East German Postal Museum. Some eight years later, West Berlin established the Berlin Museum for Post and Telecommunication in the Urania building. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification ushered in a major change for the two Berlin museums, and they were integrated under one roof in March 2000.
03 Dec 2021 - BHA Christmas Dinner.
18 Nov 2021 - Annual General Meeting.
14 Nov 2021 - Tour of the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation.
The Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation was newly opened in 2020. It provides information about the causes, dimensions and consequences of displacement, expulsion and forced migration in twentieth-century Europe and beyond. The main focus is on the displacement and expulsion of Germans at the end of the Second World War, which was initiated by Germany. The exhibition illuminates politically, ethnically and religiously motivated forced migrations, primarily in twentieth-century Europe, but also beyond. The displacement and expulsion of Germans during and after the Second World War constitute the focus of the exhibition’s narrative. The exhibition focuses on questions of universal significance: Why are people expelled or forced to migrate? What are the paths they have to travel? What does it mean to lose one’s homeland? How can those affected make a new start?
28 Oct 2021 - Talk by Andrew Nagorski.
09 Oct 2021 - BHA Walking Tour of Charlottenburg.
23 Feb 2020 - Tour of Otto Weidt's Workshop for the Blind.
In 1936 Otto Weidt established a workshop to manufacture brooms and brushes in a Kreuzberg cellar, where he employed predominantly blind and deaf Jews. When he moved the factory to the Rosentalerstraße in 1940, tensions in the country grew and despite the workshop being declared a war- essential industry, the Gestapo began to arrest and deport his Jewish employees. Weidt fought to protect his workers from persecution and deportation by bribing the Gestapo, falsifying documents, and eventually hiding a family behind a backless cupboard in one room of his shop. As the threat grew ever greater he found places for many more to hide. Weidt, forewarned, kept his shop closed on the day of the Fabrikaktion* in February 1943. However, many of his employees were deported. Among those he was able to save were Inge Deutschkron and Alice Licht, both non-blind young women in their twenties. Today, this museum to a citizen-hero is administered by the German Resistance Memorial Centre Foundation. It tells Weidt’s story with archival photos and interviews with some of those he saved.
22 Feb 2020 - BHA's 25th anniversary lunch.
22 Jan 2020 - Special Event - Visit to the US Embassy Berlin.
18 Jan 2020 - Tour of the Berlin Museum of Medical History.
The Berlin Museum of Medical History is an institution of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin - and is located in the former museum building of the Pathological Institute on the traditional grounds of the Charité (Campus Mitte). The museum’s permanent exhibition “On the Trace of Life” provides a path through medical history over the past 300 years. The presentation follows the ever-changing historical view of and into the body, finally arriving at the “recipient” of medicine, the patient, and the possibilities inherent in today’s medicine. The heart of the museum is still the specimen hall, the core of which goes back to the collecting activities of Rudolf Virchow. Today, there are around 750 pathologic-anatomical wet and dry preparations on display in this area. In its temporary exhibitions, the museum focuses on different aspects of current medicine and medical history.
06 Dec 2019 - BHA Christmas Dinner.
29 Nov 2019 - Visit to the German Foreign Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst).
The headquarters of the Bundesnachrichtendienst moved earlier this year from Pullach in Bavaria to a new building in the centre of Berlin. Adjacent to the new building is a Visitors’ Centre where we will learn more about the mission, the main topics, the working methods, the parliamentary control and the history of the BND. Participants will then be able to ask questions about the BND. Following the introductory lecture and questions we will also be able to experience a multimedia and interactive exhibition on the tasks, goals and history of the Federal Intelligence Service.
02 Nov 2019 - Tour of archaeological excavation of the Molkenmarkt.
The area of the Molkenmarkt lies in the historic centre of Berlin and is recorded as being the first market to have existed - even before Berlin itself was founded nearly 800 years ago. At present, the main thoroughfare of Mühlendamm/Grunerstrasse (that connects Potsdamer Platz with Alexanderplatz) runs between the Rote Rathaus (to the north) and the Alte Stadthaus (to the south), dissecting the former Molkenmarkt. Densely-built residential quarters that once characterised this area gave way, firstly, to Nazi building plans, then to Allied bombs during WWII and, finally, to GDR town-planners. Following a decision by the Senat in 2016 to re-route the main thoroughfare, archaeological excavations were begun to investigate the extent of former buildings on these sites.
20 Oct 2019 - Guided tour of Maybach 1 and Zeppelin bunkers Zossen/Wünsdorf (formerly military staff and communication bunkers of the German Army High Command in WWII).
Maybach I and II were a series of above and underground bunkers built 20 kilometres south ofBerlininWünsdorfnearZossen,to house theHigh Command of the German Army(in Maybach I) and theSupreme Command of the Armed Forces(in Maybach II) during theSecond World War. They provided a key connection between Berlin’s military and civilian leadership to the front lines of battle. During the Cold War the Zeppelin bunker was used by the Soviet Army.
29 Sep 2019 - Welcome to Berlin - Guided tour.
Despite the rain and the Berlin Marathon, Lee Evans, a Board Member of BHA, led another of his revealing tours for newcomers to Berlin. Places of interest Included Pariser Platz, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the site of Hitler’s former bunker, the Luftwaffe HQ, the 17th June Memorial, the Berlin Wall, the former SS Headquarters, Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse, Gendarmenmarkt, Bebelplatz, the Old Royal Boulevard, Neue Wache, the TV Tower and Museum Island.
17 Sep 2019 - Presentation on "Baron von Steuben - Prussia's unlikely but valuable gift to America".
Christopher McLarren, a long-time member of BHA, presented a comprehensive picture of Baron von Steuben's life from his modest start, via his scheming association with royalty, his self-enoblement and his self-promotion, to one of the saviours and folk-heroes of America.
24 Aug 2019 - Guided tour of Knoblauchhaus Museum.
The Knoblauchhaus is a museum devoted to the Biedermeier era in Berlin. The former residence of the Knoblauch family is one of the few remaining 18th century town houses in Berlin. In its reconstructed living quarters, which are true to the original, exhibits and documents give visitors a glimpse of the life of this well-to-do family. They also offer fascinating information about the architecture, economy, culture and social life of the Biedermeier era. What was life really like in the Biedermeier Period? In German, the word bieder means “conservative” or “conventional”. But was the first half of the 19th century really so bieder? And why did people withdraw into the private sphere? A visit to the Knoblauchhaus Museum provides the chance to step into the world of Biedermeier Berlin. Each of the carefully reconstructed residential spaces is dedicated to a particular member of the silk merchant family Knoblauch, who once lived here. They provide a vivid window into the attitudes and domestic life of the period. Step through the doors of the Knoblauchhaus and experience middle-class life from the period between Napoleon’s wars and the Revolution of 1848!
27 July 2019 - Tour of Oranienburg Palace Museum.
Oranienburg Palace is one of the most significant Baroque buildings in the Mark Brandenburg, and a symbol of the Electorate of Brandenburg’s regal ascent. The palace dates back to a rural mansion built in 1651 for the Great Elector’s wife, Louise Henriette, who was born Princess of Orange-Nassau and from whom the locality of Oranienburg got its name. At the end of the 17th century King Frederick I had the palace expanded and magnificently furnished, in memory of his mother Louise Henriette. By 1700, this palace was considered the most beautiful of all Prussian residences. Under Prince Augustus William of Prussia, one of Frederick the Great’s brothers, the palace and gardens experienced another golden age during the middle of the 18th century. The Oranienburg Palace Museum now houses a collection of masterful works of art, amongst which is the magnificent etagère, or display stand for porcelain, in the Porcelain Chamber. Also outstanding are pieces of seating furniture made of ivory, a series of tapestries (made by the manufactory of Pierre Mercier in Berlin) extolling the heroic deeds of the Great Elector, sculptures by François Dieussart, and works of art by the sculptor Bartholomeus Eggers. The extraordinary collection of paintings includes masterpieces by the great Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck.
29 June 2019 - Walking tour of Siemensstadt.
At the beginning of Berlin‘s industrial revolution in the middle of the 19th century, the Nonnenwiese, a large field separating Charlottenburg and Spandau, was a mostly uninhabited forest. This all changed in the 1890s when the fledgling company of Siemens & Halske purchased the area to consolidate their production that had been spread all over Berlin. Siemens began building factories and workers’ housing, and the Kolonie Nonnendamm formally became Siemensstadt in 1914. Today, Siemenstadt comprises one of the finest collections of brick factory structures, administrative buildings, and workers’ housing in Germany; all of which is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Join BHA Board member Lee Evans on a two hour journey and rediscover one of Berlin’s most important neighbourhoods.
19 June 2019 - Annual General Meeting, with guest speaker Sir Peter Torry, former British Ambassador to Germany.
23 May 2019 - Guided tour of the Ruhleben waste-water treatment plant.
This treatment plant, built in 1963 on the site of the former WW1 Prisoner of War Camp (and later a trotting track), is one of six plants that clean the waste-water from Berlin and surrounding parts of Brandenburg. A total of 163 pumping stations are interconnected by a 1,183-kilometer-long pressure pipeline network. So-called main pumping stations convey the waste-water via the pressure line to the sewage treatment plants. In dry weather, the six sewage treatment plants clean around 620,000 cubic metres of waste-water per day. These include waste-water from households, commerce and industry as well as rainwater. Once the waste-water has been purified it then flows into the Spree or the Havel, returning it to its natural cycle.
26 April 2019 - Guided tour of the Helmholtz Centre for Materials and Energy.
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials und Energy (HZB) conducts research on complex systems of materials that contribute to dealing with challenges such as the energy transition. The HZB research portfolio includes solar cells, solar fuels, thermo-electrics, and materials for new, energy-efficient information technologies (spintronics) or electro-chemical energy storage. During this tour we will learn about the history of the HZB (originally the Hahn-Meitner-Institute) and some of its current research projects.
3 April 2019 - A reading from Sir Winston Churchill's book "The World Crisis 1911-1918".
"One rises from the study of the causes of the Great War with a prevailing sense of the defective control of individuals upon world fortunes.“ Thus wrote Winston Churchill at the start of his book covering the seven years in which the “War to end all wars“ almost destroyed the world. Nick Barnard, a member of BHA, will read some excerpts from Winston Churchill’s book to illustrate how the author viewed the prelude to, and events of, the First World War; and how he believed the war could and should have been averted.
16 March 2019 - "Refuse and Detritus"! A guided tour through the history of Berlin's waste disposal.
Rubbish disposal has a history as long as human existence. As early as 1583, Kurfürst Johann Georg von Brandenburg decreed that the residents of the Spree were responsible for disposing of their own rubbish so that it did not end up in the river. Our guided tour is concerned with the history of how refuse and detritus has been collected and disposed of, and the equipment and vehicles that have been used and developed for these purposes. We are most grateful to the volunteers of the „Saubere Zeiten“ (Clean Times) association who have established a museum and a large collection of vehicles and equipment that bear witness to the history of a subject that most people would rather not know about!
18 January 2019 - Tour of the Red Town Hall (Das Rote Rathaus)
The Red Town Hall is one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings and was built from 1861 to 1869 by Hermann Friedrich Waesemann in the neo-Renaissance style. As the seat of the mayor, the municipal government and the city council, it played a key role in the history of democracy in Berlin. That came to an abrupt end in 1933 when the Nazis rose to power and destroyed democracy and local self-government. The building suffered heavy damage during World War II. However, it was rebuilt in the 1950s and became the seat of the mayor of East Berlin; whilst West Berlin’s Senate met at the Schoneberg Town Hall. It has represented reunified Berlin since 1991.
8 December 2018 - Visit to Potsdam and the Christmas Market
For nearly three centuries, the scenic town of Potsdam just outside Berlin was the residence of the Prussian kings, princes, and German emperors of the House of Hohenzollern who created a fairy-tale landscape of palaces, gardens, and churches that ranks among the most beautiful in Europe. In the middle of the 18th century the infamous 'Soldier King', Frederick William I, (renowned for the giant men he collected for his showcase military regiments), built an unique ensemble of brick houses to accommodate Potsdam's new community of Dutch artisans. Although the Dutch didn’t stay, their traditions come to life during the holiday season. The Christmas Market in the Dutch quarter is a unique Berlin/Brandenburg experience. Our day begins in Potsdam with a short tour of the newly renovated city centre while we await the arrival of Sinterklaas, the Dutch Father Christmas, who arrives at Potsdam Harbour at 13:30. After following Sinterklaas into the Dutch quarter you can spend the rest of the day exploring the market, feasting on matjes herring and other Dutch culinary treats.
11 November 2018 - Ceremony of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and St George's Church
The Armistice to end the First World War came into effect at 1100 hrs on 11 November 1918. Every year since then this date has been dedicated to the commemoration of all those British and Commonwealth personnel (as well as those of other allied nations) who gave their lives, both in that war and in subsequent wars. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. As has been customary in Berlin since 1945 there will be a Ceremony of Remembrance at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on the Heerstrasse, followed by a church service at St George’s Church, Preussenallee.
20 October 2018 - Exhibition of WW1 Prisoner of War Camp Ruhleben
One of the most famous internment camps of its time, the so called ‘Engländerlager’, was situated in the area of the former horse-trotting race track of Ruhleben. There, up to 5,000 British (as well as German-British) men were detained from 1914 until 1918, or even later. Some of them had lived in Germany or the German Empire for years, and many had families there; others found themselves, by chance, on German soil when the war broke out and, along with citizens of other „hostile“ nations, they were rounded up and interned under what were, initially, fairly primitive conditions. The exhibition of Ruhleben Camp, at the Spandau Zitadelle, describes this piece of history of World War I, and shows how the prisoners organised, administered, disciplined, educated and entertained themselves during their internment.
3 October 2018 - Nikolaikirche
The Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas' Church) is arguably the oldest church in Berlin. However, it is now no longer a church but rather a museum. Nevertheless, the Nikolaikirche has been a landmark of the Berlin city centre for over 800 years. The Nikolaikirche was more than just a religious centre and burial place for important Berlin families; it was also the city council church and an historically significant location. During the Second World War, in 1944, a bombing raid completely destroyed the Nikolaikirche. Thereafter it remained in ruins until reconstruction began in 1984; and in 1987 it was re-purposed as a museum. Shortly after German reunification, the first freely-elected Berlin-wide city parliament convened here in 1991. Following comprehensive renovation, it was re-opened to visitors in 2010 not just as a museum but also as a venue for concerts.
22 September 2018 - Glockenturm at the Olympic Stadium
The Glockenturm stands like a watchtower guarding the Olympic Stadium and the Maifeld. Within the base of the Glockenturm is an exhibition depicting the early beginnings of the German gymnastic movement; the use of the Olympic grounds from 1919 to 1936; the various stages of construction, including a 3D animated film; the use of the grounds from their beginning until the present day; the Langemarck Halle dedicated to the German soldiers who fought in the WWI battle at Langemarck. From the top of the Glockenturm one can enjoy the magnificent views of Berlin and beyond.
11 August 2018 - Energy Museum Berlin
The Energy Museum Berlin was founded in 2001 by a group of volunteers whose aim was to show the development of electricity production in Berlin and its relationship to the „Elektropolis“ Berlin. This fascinating museum is divided into discrete individual areas covering electricity generation, distribution, safety, measurement of supply and consumption, control and communication, prevention of accidents, public street-lighting as well as the many uses and demands for electricity that have been invented since the end of the 19th century.
28 July 2018 - Alexanderplatz and the Scheunenviertel neighbourhood
Lovingly referred to by Berliners simply as 'Alex', the Alexanderplatz is a large public space at the edge of Medieval Berlin. Although the square was originally conceived as a cattle market, outside of the city walls, the Alexanderplatz quickly became one of the most important centres of the growing city. No other public space in Berlin has seen the winds of change more than the Alexanderplatz. Due to its importance in trade, it is no surprise that the Alexanderplatz and its adjoining neighbourhood, the Scheunenviertel (Barn Quarter), was once a centre of Berlin’s flourishing Jewish culture and home to many of Berlin’s Jews.
20 June 2018 - Annual General Meeting and talk by guest speaker Dr John Provan
16 June 2018 - Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre
The Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre opened in 2006 on the site of what was once a Forced Labour Camp at Schöneweide. The exact number of forced labourers is hard to determine, but around 26 million people from all parts of Europe had to work within the German Reich and the occupied territories during the Second World War in order to maintain, inter alia, the German armaments industry.
19 May 2018 - Walking tour of Hausvogteiplatz and surrounding area
From its humble origins at the edge of Medieval Berlin, Friedrichstadt emerged as a vital extension to the ever-expanding city of Berlin. Although many focus on the Gendarmenmarkt as Berlin’s most beautiful public space, it is the Hausvogteiplatz that is more emblematic of the last two hundred years of Berlin’s history. Hausvogteiplatz is more famous as the centre of Berlin’s fashion industry and focal point of the former Garment District. By 1923, clothing manufacture dominated the economy of Berlin, becoming the second most profitable industry in the city. The Nazis destroyed this predominantly Jewish industry and by 1938 there were virtually no Jews left on the square.
14 April 2018 - German-Russian Museum Karlshorst
The Second World War ended in Europe with an act of unconditional surrender in what is now the German-Russian Museum Karlshorst. From 1945 to 1949 the building was the headquarters of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany. After being used by the Soviet military for various purposes, an historic memorial site - “The Museum of the Soviet Armed Forces in Germany” - opened in the building in 1967. Later re-named the “Museum of the Unconditional Surrender of Fascist Germany in the Great Patriotic War”, it existed until 1994. On 10 May 1995, to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, the German Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst opened. In 2013 a newly conceived permanent exhibition under development since 2009 was presented to the public.
17 March 2018 - Tour of Forum Willy Brandt Berlin
The Forum Willy Brandt Berlin commemorates one of the leading German politicians of the 20th Century, and during our guided tour we will learn about the rise of Willy Brandt from modest beginnings to one of the world’s most respected statesmen, and just how instrumental he was in the development of post-war Germany and Europe.
24 February 2018 - Berlin Story Museum Bunker
The Berlin Story Museum is located in a former air-raid bunker just south of the Anhalter Bahnhof. Our visit will take us (with an audio guide) through a number of exhibits, including photographs, films, sculptures and other objects, covering events such as Napoleon’s occupation of Berlin in 1806, the revolution of 1848 as well as the more recent history of the 20th century. The exhibits are complemented by short biographies of Berlin personalities from Schinkel to Bismarck and others. At the end of the visit we will be able to a view a 25-minute film entitled “The Making of Berlin”.
13 January 2018 - Tour of the Botanical Garden Museum and Greenhouses
The Botanical Gardens Museum is more than just a supplement to the Botanical Gardens themselves. Indeed, there is no other botanical museum of this kind in Central Europe. Plants that one can only observe for a few weeks or, in some cases, for a single day in the garden, can be observed undisturbed the whole year in the museum. In the greenhouses, each with its differently replicated climate, we will see diverse flora from around the world. Faithfully restored to the original, the Main Tropical Greenhouse (Great Pavilion), is an architectural masterpiece in Art Nouveau style.
10 December 2017 - Day Trip to Naumburg
Once a significant trading centre on the Via Regia in the Middle Ages, Naumburg in Saxony-Anhalt is just over 35 miles southwest of Leipzig. It is best known for its stunning St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th centuries. During the Advent season, the town is transformed by its charming Christmas market, located directly on the Market Square (Marktplatz). Our excursion to Naumburg includes a guided city tour and plenty of free time to explore the city and its Christmas Market.
19 November 2017 - Deutsche Oper
The Deutsche Oper Berlin (German Opera House Berlin) was founded in 1912 in what was then still the independent town of Charlottenburg. The original building was destroyed in WWII, and Fritz Bornemann’s reconstruction opened on 24 September 1961 to much acclaim, with its excellent sightlines for all members of the audience and its exceptional acoustics. This private tour of the Deutsche Oper will take us from the foyers to the auditorium, onto the stage, behind the scenes, to the rehearsal rooms and scenery stores.
20 October 2017 - German Federal Council (Bundesrat)
The Bundesrat is Germany’s Upper House of Parliament and is one of the five constitutional bodies in Germany. The German Bundesrat was first founded in 1867, together with the North German Confederation. In 1871 it was continued under the same name and with the same functions by the German Empire. The political makeup of the Bundesrat today is affected by changes in power in the states of Germany, and thus by elections in each state.
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.
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