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ONLINE EXPERIENCE

Back in Time with My WW II Pen Pal

Rated 4.90 out of 5 from 198 reviews.Berlin, GermanyPart of Airbnb Online Experiences

Online experience hosted by Maria

2 hours
Up to 8 people. Private groups available for up to 10
Join from your computer, phone, or tablet
Hosted in English

What you'll do

Our virtual meetup in Berlin will bring us back in time, to the dramatic 1930s in Germany. I'll share my special, inspiring and quite unbelievable true story with you.

One of the best ways to learn about a period in history is through personal stories of people who witnessed that era. Our talk will give you this type of experience.

I'll tell you a story about a Jewish boy who once lived in the house where I live now in Berlin. He accidentally met Hitler, fled Nazi Germany, and was my pen-pal for a while before passing away. His life with its crazy coincidences could be a script for a movie, and I feel really blessed to be able to share his story with you.

I'll show you his letters to me, old photographs, his memoire, and tell you why a vintage typewriter traveled all the way from Berlin to New York, why is a tiny rose bush in my courtyard is so precious to me, and why it is so important to pay attention to little things around us.

In the first part of the session, I’ll tell you about the specifics of ''remembrance culture“ in Germany, and we'll have a discussion about it, recalling significant memorials, museums, history books/movies.

At the beginning, we’ll get to know each other a bit, and on the way, everybody is welcome to participate in discussions, sharing their thoughts and opinions on the subject. So, it‘s not just my storytelling, but also communication!
Our virtual meetup in Berlin will bring us back in time, to the dramatic 1930s in Germany. I'll share my special, inspiring and quite unbelievable true story with you.

One of the best ways to learn about a period in history is through personal stories of people who witnessed that era. Our talk will give you this type of experience.

I'll tell you a story about a Jewish boy who once lived in the house where I live now in Ber…

How to participate

  • Join a video call
    Download Zoom for free on a desktop or mobile device. After you book, you’ll receive an email with a link and details on how to join.
  • Book a private group
    Maria can host private groups of any size, up to 10 guests. Private group rates start at $98.

What to bring

  • Keen interest in history
  • Desire to listen to a lot of stories (thought-provoking rather then fun and entertaining)
  • Desire to connect with other guests, listen to their thoughts and share your own opinions
  • Pls, keep in mind that this session might boring / uncomfortable for children
From $13
/ person
Sun, Sep 20
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)
$13 per person
$13 per person
Sat, Sep 26
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
Join 1 other guest
$13 per person
$13 per person
Sun, Sep 27
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)
Join 3 other guests
$13 per person
$13 per person

Meet your host, Maria

Host on Airbnb since 2015
  • 198 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I am Maria, a passionate storyteller and a tour guide in Berlin. Throughout the years, I have been exploring the history and the unique spirit of this multifaceted, frenzied, and incredible city, I have discovered so many amazing stories, that at some point I realized I want to share them with people.

Working in PR and cultural journalism, I mastered the art of storytelling. Now, tour-guiding gives me a great opportunity to put these skills into practice.

Apart from showing visitors Berlin's hidden gems, I do translations, organize cultural events for kids and grownups, do yoga, and raise my two awesome sons.
I am Maria, a passionate storyteller and a tour guide in Berlin. Throughout the years, I have been exploring the history and the unique spirit of this multifaceted, frenzied, and incredible city, I have discovered so many amazing stories, that at some point I realized I want to share them with people.

Working in PR and cultural journalism, I mastered the art of storytelling. Now, tour-guiding gives me a great opportunity to put these skills into practice.

Apart from showi…
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Rated 4.90 out of 5 from 198 reviews.

Stacy
September 2020
I chose this as a private event for my mom's 80th birthday. We had her children, their spouses, and grandchildren join in. It was really nice to have us all on Zoom together listening to Maria. Maria had a great presentation full of pictures and stories.
I chose this as a private event for my mom's 80th birthday. We had her children, their spouses, and grandchildren join in. It was really nice to have us all on Zoom together listen…
Nicole
August 2020
My family and I took part in this experience as a way to celebrate my father's 60th birthday while being far apart (thanks COVID). He loves this era of History, and German culture (we lived there for awhile when I was younger, and my father has studied German for many years). Maria was so welcoming when we all joined, and she wished my dad a happy birthday. 🙂 The story she guided us through, as she notes, started out somber but ended with hope - truly. It was fascinating to learn more history about WWII in Germany, the history of the family that used to live in her home, and the current things being done to honor that history like the stepping stones and the idea of remembrance culture. Then as she segued into her experience with Paul and their unique story, it was fascinating to hear about their special history. You left feeling hopeful, with a desire to connect with others in a new way, and to look into the special histories and stories that may be right outside your own door. Thanks so much, Maria, for a lovely experience, and a wonderful way to celebrate my dad's big day.
My family and I took part in this experience as a way to celebrate my father's 60th birthday while being far apart (thanks COVID). He loves this era of History, and German culture…
Robert
August 2020
Maria is a wonderful storyteller, weaving together the story of Paul Kuttner's life with the story of Berlin during the war. But she also adds a discussion of the importance and practice of collective memory in a very human and conversational way. And then to top it all off, her highly personal experiences of living in the building Paul Kuttner's family lived in before the war, and becoming his pen pal in his old age. Throughout it all, she drew us all in to share our own thoughts and stories. I had asked my family to get me this experience for my birthday, and it was one of the best birthday gifts I've ever received! I highly recommend this experience for anyone with an interest in history, told through personal stories.
Maria is a wonderful storyteller, weaving together the story of Paul Kuttner's life with the story of Berlin during the war. But she also adds a discussion of the importance and pr…
Elaine
August 2020
It was truly a wonderful, in depth experience we received. We enjoyed not only the historical value of the experience, but also the very personal connection Maria had with the material. She was lovely and kept everyone engaged. I highly recommend this to others.
It was truly a wonderful, in depth experience we received. We enjoyed not only the historical value of the experience, but also the very personal connection Maria had with the mate…
Lorie
August 2020
Maria is very knowledgeable about her topic and has a great story to tell with surprising personal connections to the material. She has the perfect personality for this medium, as she really drew everyone in and made us all a part of the experience by asking us to share our thoughts and experiences. I felt very comfortable and learned a lot. Recommended!
Maria is very knowledgeable about her topic and has a great story to tell with surprising personal connections to the material. She has the perfect personality for this medium, as…
Olivia
August 2020
A fascinating, in-depth look at a history and culture only available through first hand experience. Maria is a great host, and the wealth of information available was incredible. Definitely recommend to any history enthusiast!

Choose from available dates

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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

You’ll need an internet connection and the ability to stream audio and video to participate. A link and details on how to join will be included in your booking confirmation email.

More tips

Feel free to request another time slot if you have a group of friends who are up to a private experience in English or in Russian, I‘ll do my best to make it work. But, pls, check the time difference to avoid confusion! I will really appreciate if you propose a time slot using BERLIN time! Thanks!