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16952
Germany

Berlin: Two Pasts, One Present

Immerse yourself in Cold War history in Berlin while learning about the Bundestag, speaking with Berliners about reunification and discovering cultural monuments like the Berlin Wall.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 16952RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
1,050
Germany

Berlin: Two Pasts, One Present

Immerse yourself in Cold War history in Berlin while learning about the Bundestag, speaking with Berliners about reunification and discovering cultural monuments like the Berlin Wall.
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
1,050
Program No. 16952 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 10 - Sep 18, 2021
Starting at
2,999
Oct 8 - Oct 16, 2021
Starting at
2,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 10 - Sep 18, 2021
Starting at
3,429
Oct 8 - Oct 16, 2021
Starting at
3,429

At a Glance

In November of 1989 the Cold War tensions were beginning to thaw. With the Tiananmen Square protest and the democratic elections of Eastern Europe fresh in their minds, the leaders of East Berlin’s Communist Party announced it was finally time to put an end of the Berlin Wall. Almost instantly, thousands of German citizens flooded the streets, shouting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”) until the wall tumbled down and loved ones were reunited for the first time since 1945. Alongside experts, experience the living memory of a divided city that is once again united as a cultural and political power of Europe. Delve deep into the political life and mentality of modern Germany with political and historical experts as you remember and reflect on this important time in world history.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles per day on mostly flat city sidewalks. Standing for up to 1.5 hours a day. Stairs in historic buildings. Use of public transportation. Some program days may require walking up to three miles in a day.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Venture behind the scenes of German politics during a field trip to the Reichstag building - the seat of German Bundestag – followed by a discussion round with a political expert.
  • Meet with an expert on German-American relations at the Allied Museum and discover how enemies became friends.
  • Experience an excursion to Sanssouci Gardens and the New Palace — the representational Baroque palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Burkhard Heyl
Burkhard Heyl has performed in films, television and radio play productions both internationally and in his home country of Germany. He studied acting at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany, and has authored numerous screenplays and short stories. A decorated excursion leader, Burkhard accompanies explorers on highly personalized adventures through Berlin and Potsdam while sharing his expertise and passion for the region’s history.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Burkhard Heyl
Burkhard Heyl View biography
Burkhard Heyl has performed in films, television and radio play productions both internationally and in his home country of Germany. He studied acting at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany, and has authored numerous screenplays and short stories. A decorated excursion leader, Burkhard accompanies explorers on highly personalized adventures through Berlin and Potsdam while sharing his expertise and passion for the region’s history.
Profile Image of Andrea Mehrländer
Andrea Mehrländer View biography
Andrea is Berlin native and has been working as Executive Director of the Academy of Transatlantic Academic Studies since 2014. She studied History, English, Sociology and Psychology and received her Ph.D. from Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Andrea has taught American Studies at Martin-Luther-Universität and served as Executive Director at Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, where she successfully raised 1.7 million euros for ongoing projects. Andrea is also a historical consultant for American movie productions and has consulted for the films like Pearl Harbor and National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
Profile Image of Ulrich Brückner
Ulrich Brückner View biography
Ulrich Brückner studied political science, German literature and history at the University of Würzburg and the Freie Universität Berlin. He specialized in European integration and his PhD thesis focused on the role of the European Commission in the policy-making of the EU. He has been a lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin, Szczecin University and an active member of the European Union’s Jean Monnet Programme. His current fields of interests are institutional developments in the EU, external affairs and Eastward enlargement.
Profile Image of Wolf Refardt
Wolf Refardt View biography
An expert on the military history of the 19th and 20th centuries, Wolf Refardt enjoys sharing his knowledge during his lectures and classes on the events of the Cold War. Wolf has published papers on themes that range from Sepulchral culture in enlightened absolutism to the development of public welfare in Brandenburg, and to the history of battles that took place during World War II.
Profile Image of Janet Kempf
Janet Kempf View biography
Janet Kempt studied art history, Spanish and history in Berlin, Madrid and Munich. She has worked in both the curatorial and pedagogical fields of museums since 2006. One of her favorite works of art is Donatello's “Putto with Tambourine” in the Bode Museum, which presents the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy in an extraordinary way.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Alone in Berlin
by Hans Fallada
In 1940, in the heart of Hitler's capital, Otto and Anna Quangel are alone in Berlin with a breathtaking campaign of resistance.
Book of Clouds
by Chloe Aridjis
Chloe Aridjis's beautifully evocative novel is set in today's Berlin; a young Mexican woman flees her family only to find a city that cannot escape its past.
Five Germanys I have known
by Fritz Stern
The "German question" haunts the modern world: How could so civilized a nation be responsible for the greatest horror in Western history? In this unusual fusion of personal memoir and history, the celebrated scholar Fritz Stern refracts the question through the prism of his own life.
Berlin: Imagine a City
by Rory MacLean
A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations. Through vivid portraits spanning five centuries, Rory MacLean reveals the varied and rich history of Berlin, from its brightest to its darkest moments. We encounter an ambitious prostitute refashioning herself as a princess, a Scottish mercenary fighting for the Prussian Army, Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality and Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania. The result is a uniquely imaginative biography of one of the world's most volatile yet creative cities.
The Berlin Wall Story
by Hans-Hermann Hertle
Where did the Berlin Wall actually stand? Why was it built? How did people keep managing to escape across it – and how many died in the attempt? Why did it come down in the end? Numerous previously unknown photographs document the construction of this barrier system of barbed wire, alarm fences and concrete. Spectacular escape stories and shocking deaths are chronicled here in words and images, as are the dramatic events surrounding the construction and the fall of the Wall. A stunning survey of the Berlin Wall – the central symbol of the Cold War.
Berlin Now: The Rise of the City and the Fall of the Wall
by Peter Schneider
Over the last five decades, no other city has changed more than Berlin. Divided in 1961, reunited in 1989, it has morphed over the last twenty-five years into Europe's most vibrant melting-pot of artists, immigrants and entrepreneurs. Pieces of the wall are collected around the world. Blending memoir, history, anecdote and reportage, this legendary Berliner takes us behind the scenes - from wrenching stories of life under the Stasi, to the difference between East and West Berliners' sex-lives, to a present-day investigation of its arts scene, night-life, tumultuous politics and hidden quirks - revealing what makes Berlin the uniquely fascinating place it is.
The Innocent
by Ian McEwan
After England, the cold war Berlin of 1955 is like no place Leonard Markham has ever experienced: surreal, complex and dangerous.
Stasiland
by Anna Funder
Not surprisingly the fall of the Berlin Wall caused panic at the Stasi headquarters, as described in Anna Funder's riveting portrait of East Germany's secret police and how it controlled a nation.
Germany: Memories of a Nation
by Neil MacGregor
From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no otherFor the past 140 years, Germany has been the central power in continental Europe. Twenty-five years ago a new German state came into being. How much do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now understand themselves?
March Violets
by Philip Kerr
Freelance detective Bernie Gunther works on the mean streets of 1930s Berlin, where Nazi excesses are never far from the surface.





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