The division of Germany would not have existed without the Second World War. In this sense, the end of the World War and the subsequent Cold War are, so to speak, two sides of the same coin and German history cannot be understood without this connection. A day trip to Potsdam, which leads to the location of crucial conferences and decisive events, makes the tragedy of divided German 20th-century history crystal clear.
This begins with lasting impressions at the memorial platform 17, from where the Jewish population of Berlin was deported to the Nazi extermination camps. It continues in the industrialist’s villa used by the SS, where the infamous Wannsee conference took place, where the fate of Europe’s Jewish population was negotiated. It then leads you to the former Hohenzollern-Schloss Cecilienhof, in which the heads of state of the Allied victorious powers conducted negotiations in the summer of 1945 about the fate of defeated Nazi Germany – the results of which were to have a remaining impact on German history.
As a result, the Cold War left lasting traces not least in Potsdam. The Glienicke Bridge, made famous by the Steven Spielberg film “Bridge of Spies”, is also part of the tour program, as is the former prison of the Soviet military counterintelligence with torture cells or the Soviet cemetery of honor in the historic city center of Potsdam.
On the way back to Berlin, a trip to the Teufelsberg in the southwest of the city rounds off the tour (if time permits). During the Cold War, a huge US listening station was installed on top of it, the ruins of which can still be seen today.