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Cologne under the swastika

2 reviewsKöln, Germany

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Experience hosted by Marcel

8 hours
Includes food, drinks, tickets, transportation
Up to 4 people
Hosted in German, English

What you'll do

Cologne is the largest incorporated city along the major traffic routes between Berlin and Paris and therefore played a major role in the Nazi's plans for both the then-current situation and the future of the Reich. While it was heavily destroyed in the war, traces of that period can still be found and visited, which is what we'll do on this tour. I'll also be a walking resource for contextualisation and your questions.

We'll start at the remnants of the original Deutz bridge where we'll discuss acts of open defiance against the Nazis by then-mayor Konrad Adenauer, stroll the old town, visiting places that Adolf Hitler visited and thereby discuss the unusual relationship between Cologne people and the Nazi regime, to finally come to the NS-Dokumentationszentrum and memorial, where we'll freshen up some basics about Nazi history with a local perspective. After a sort-of historical German lunch break, we'll continue to the outskirts and visit the historical airport that was also Hitler's gateway to the city, stroll around a typical neighbourhood with a history of opposition, and visit the house in which the Nazi Reich was born. We'll end near Cologne's urban concentration camp and then settle at a bar to discuss all aspects of the tour.

Note: If the published dates don't work for you, you're happily invited to send me a message.
Cologne is the largest incorporated city along the major traffic routes between Berlin and Paris and therefore played a major role in the Nazi's plans for both the then-current situation and the future of the Reich. While it was heavily destroyed in the war, traces of that period can still be found and visited, which is what we'll do on this tour. I'll also be a walking resource for contextualisation and your questions.

We'll start at…

Marcel's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Food
    We'll have a sort-of historical German lunch in a modern urban environment
  • Drinks
    Always included are water/soft drinks/coffee with lunch and local beer (or...
  • Tickets
    entrance fee to the El-De-Haus/NS-Dokumentationszentrum is included in the...
  • Transportation
    We'll be moving around by lightrail a lot. Tickets are included in the tour...
From $141
/ person

Meet your host, Marcel

Host on Airbnb since 2014
  • 2 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Natively German (Prussian on my father's and Saxonian on my Mother's side), bilingual due to my dad having grown up among British soldiers after WWII, my family's history is deeply connected with German history. Very early, that got me hooked for the subject, so I ended up majoring in German and European History (as well as German literature and language) and work as a high school level teacher now. Living in Cologne and the area for more than 10 years now, I always explore my surroundings with the eye of a professional and over time grew a deep understanding for both prototypical and unique connections between Cologne and German/European history.
Natively German (Prussian on my father's and Saxonian on my Mother's side), bilingual due to my dad having grown up among British soldiers after WWII, my family's history is deeply connected with German history. Very early, that got me hooked for the subject, so I ended up majoring in German and European History (as well as German literature and language) and work as a high school level teacher now. Living in Cologne and the area for more than 10 years now, I always explore my surroundings with…
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Where you'll be

We'll be in the old town to talk about the symbolic values of bridges and hotels, at the historical airport, visit the low income residential neighborhood of Ehrenfeld with a period bunker, a high income, park like neighborhood already developed in the 1920s and visited by Hitler for a meeting without which he'd never have become chancellor in early 1933, and end near Cologne's urban concentration camp that is a media hub today in Deutz.

2 reviews

Martin
August 2020
Marcel prepared an outstanding experience with "Cologne under the swastika". I was very fascinated by the places contained in the tour, where some of the historic moments leading to WW2 and during took place. Especially the museum, a former SS headquarter of Cologne, is definitvely a highlight, under Marcels remarks history of WW2 became vivid and emotional. The interaction with Marcel was excellent and I recommend this tour to everyone who wants to learn about Colognes and Germanys History under the 3rd Reich.
Marcel prepared an outstanding experience with "Cologne under the swastika". I was very fascinated by the places contained in the tour, where some of the historic moments leading t…
Justin
August 2020
I took the whole-day-tour on a leisure Sunday with Marcel through Cologne. I have been to this friendly city of the Carnaval many times, yet first time taken a look into its Nazi past. In fact, it's hard to imagine this same city in which I used to stray midnight at some stranger's party could even hold a Nazi past. Well, it did, even was the place Hitler negotiated his raise to power. Marcel took us through the lively street of today, stopped at a bridge, a stone on the sideway, an abandoned bunker, a Gestapo prison-turned-museum, etc and unfolded what happened. His story telling is professional in a way that I felt as if I were experiencing first hand a documentary in the making. Through the tour Marcel also showed expert's knowledge attending to the guests' questions. We did have an extremely interesting discussion about history (of-course:P) and it's even more interesting for me as a foreigner to understand from his point of view. I can only say that Marcel left a personal touch on telling his city's dark story and I one week after a leisure walking tour, still bothered with many questions "What would have happened if..."
I took the whole-day-tour on a leisure Sunday with Marcel through Cologne. I have been to this friendly city of the Carnaval many times, yet first time taken a look into its Nazi p…

Choose from available dates

    Things to know

    Cancellation policy

    Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

    Guest requirements

    Up to 4 guests ages 18 and up can attend.

    Alcohol

    This experience includes alcohol. Only guests who meet the legal drinking age will be served alcoholic beverages.

    More tips

    Because of the special nature of the tour, I rarely pre-schedule. If I have time and you're interested, I'll be happy to schedule according to your plans. Just msg me! :)

    What to bring

    some general knowledge about the Nazi period (the tour goes into detail extensively, I can't provide a basic history lesson in that setting)

    an umbrella on a rainy day