Everybody is highly aware of the events of World War II that majorly took place in Europe; and the Nazis and the Jews are the two most discussed topics when it comes to World War II. Europe is the place that bore all the evidences of the Second World War and can make you travel backwards in the history. The spine chilling events that occurred during the global-scale war have left many landmarks that are now major tourist spots in Europe. From Hitler’s last bunker, Code cracking to Churchill’s underground Bunker, Europe has it all apart from the culture, fashion and gastronomy which it is naturally known for.
Here are 11 historical World War sites of Europe that you must visit –
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Germany
In July 1936, the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was built by a team of prisoners who were transferred there from EMS areas and other places. This Nazi concentration camp in Orienburg became the central training facility for the officers and has great importance in World War II’s Holocaust. There were Innumerable prisoners kept here and about 50,000 people lost their lives here. Now this place is a tourist spot where many people come to visit and experience history. You get here from Berlin and the travel guides present there will assist you in your visit by telling you stories and the lives of the prisoners.
Arnhem Bridge, Netherlands
This bridge stands as a symbol of bravery of the airborne soldiers in the legendary battle of World War II that was fought here. The failure of the soldiers let this bridge to be captured by the opponent, and as a result it was called “a bridge too far”. In the year 1977 the famous movie “A Bridge Too Far” was based on this iconic bridge and its history. Every year commemorations take place on the bridge where huge number of tourists gather. Although there is very little to see here, it attracts a lot of tourists due to its historical value. There are museums and a few famous local sites that can be visited by you.
Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, Krakow, Poland
This is a very impressive and interactive museum that covers the Nazi occupation of Krakow during the Second World War. This factory is housed in the famous enamel factory of Nazi industrialist Oskar Schindler. He saved many lives of the Jewish labors during the World War II Holocaust. It holds records and evidences of many events that took place during the time – from mass genocide to liquidation of 3,000 Jews. The tourists come to this place to observe history that seems to come alive even today. The guide will be narrating the stories and the events so that it is easier for the tourists to relate. There are secret routes where tourists are taken to experience spine-chilling historical events.
Humboldthain Flak Tower, Germany
Humboldthain Flak Tower was built in Berlin by the order of Adolf Hitler. This is a seven storey bunker that was intended to save Berlin from any kind of aerial attacks. In 1940, six more towers like this was ordered to be built by Hitler. But during the Second World War, all the other towers were completely destroyed making the Humboldthain the only tower to exist with severe damages. Now it is one the major attractions in the city of Berlin. Only two floors are open to the people; children below 14 are not allowed and under-18 tourists must have adults with them. Tourists are advised to wear comfortable and warm clothes and shoes as it is very cold and steep inside even in summer.
Vel D’Hiv Monument, France
In the year 1942, about 13,000 Jews including 4,000 children were kept here by the police before moving them to the concentration camp in Drancy. They were kept in a very crowded way without water and food during the World War II. This event of mass arrest holds high importance in history and thus this place is famous for playing host to a major part of it. There are many kind of sports such as boxing, wrestling, skating, bicycling that took place in Vel D’Hiver. Some of the most trendy sports competition used to be held here, however now tourists just come here to observe the depressing history of the Jewish prisoners here.
Umschlagplatz, Warsaw, Poland
This is one of the most memorable monuments of Warsaw. There used be a railway terminus from which the Jews were transported to Treblinka by the German military. The rectangular monuments have marbles that have about 3000 forenames of Jews engraved on them; and has a message written on them – “Along this path of suffering and death, over 300,000 Jews were driven in 1942–43 from the Warsaw Ghetto to the gas chambers of the Nazi extermination camps”. “Umschlagplatz” were used by the Nazis as a holding point. About 320,000 Jews were transported to the death camp of Treblinka. There are guides who will show you this place and will narrate you complete stories of the event.
The Wolf’s Lair, Poland
The Wolf’s Lair was Adolf Hitler’s headquarters. He spent about 800 days here, which is half of the duration of World War II. He made many plans of concentration camps and death camps here. Also many buildings, including bunkers for high ranking officials were built. This place is 250 km ride from Warsaw and is a rare view of Poland, untouched and extremely historical. Tourists visit this place especially to view Hitler’s headquarters. This place is sure to make you travel backwards in history.
Bletchley Park, England
Bletchley Park, during the Second World War, was the central site for the British code breakers. The ultra intelligence that was produced in Bletchley reduced the duration of the war by about three or four years. This place was one the best kept secrets during the war where the geniuses regularly penetrated the communications and cracked the codes. This place was closed for a while and then again was reopened as a park and museum. Every year several thousands of tourists come to visit this iconic place.
This was the last bunker of Hitler that was built in Berlin. This is the place where Hitler and his wife Eva committed suicide shortly after they got married in the year 1945. This place has only a few portions available to the public, while most of the other parts are restricted for public access. This is one of the most visited tourist spots of Berlin that bores many memories and events of Hitler.
Cabinet War Rooms, England
There are many events and history that is hidden beneath the street of Westminster of England. The underground bunker was Churchill’s Cabinet war rooms where he stayed and made plans and then executed them elsewhere. There are rooms left as it were for so many years. Even the map rooms are untouched since 1945, and everything is kept just like it was in the year 1945. All these makes this place so demanding to the tourists to visit and walk in the footsteps of Churchill. Children are allowed here but must be accompanied by adults. Tickets are available easily and a guide will be present to make it an enriching experience.
Musee de la Reddition, France
This place is called the “Museum of the Surrender”. In May 7th of the year 1945 three very high ranking German officials surrendered in this place during the ending of World War II. This museum has many rooms that have uniforms, names of the officials, the military people who were dead and many more things. This is one the best source of information that tourists can hope to find and has unprecedented historical value. The red bricks of this building still boasts with pride. Tourists come to visit this place each year to observe such historical evidences.