London Learning Curve

Being abroad is a foreign concept to me, and before arriving in London I was worried about travelling throughout the city to get to all the places I wanted to visit. While traveling throughout London is easier than I thought, I quickly had to learn that anything can go wrong, and to just go with it. Trains get delayed, there’s traffic, and people are not always punctual, but you just have to learn that it’s ok. Things can and will go wrong, but the way to not get stressed out is to just roll with the bad things that happen.

For example, on the Thursday the group was in London, a small group of us decided to do a walking tour to see parts of London that were off the beaten path. Things immediately started to go wrong. First, we needed cash for the tour so we had to stop at an ATM for money. After a fiasco with the ATM, we were leaving for the tour at 7:25 p.m. when the tour started at 7:30 p.m. with a ten minute walk ahead of us. We were cutting it close to say the least. We sped walked as fast as we could through the busy streets of London, and pushed through crowds of people, dodged cyclists, and jay walked all in a desperate attempt to make it to our destination. When we arrived at the meeting place the walking tour had already left. Thankfully, we planned on meeting others at the walking tour, and they were able to share their location so we were able to find the group. We ended up arriving right as the guide began his tour, and we had a great time. The moral of the story is that in order to not let mishaps ruin your time when traveling you just need to accept them as they come, and things usually will turn out alright.

Unique Aspects of Germany’s WWII Remembrance

As the main perpetrators of WWII, Germans have very little to commemorate, but that doesn’t mean they don’t remember. Throughout our time in Berlin, we observed much that remained relatively untouched from those years. Five minutes from our hotel stand the remnants of one of the busiest train stations in the world. The German Reichstag building, currently home of nation’s parliament, still has bullet holes visible from the notorious Battle of Berlin. Without even knowing it, passersby bear witness to German history. Germany’s recollection of World War II is exhibited through historical preservation. 

New installations to recall the past have been erected as well. For example, artworks scattered throughout the Reichstag remember the excesses of the Nazi party’s history.  One piece, designed by French artist Christian Bolkanski, depicts the names of all the members of German parliament. Located in one of the building’s hallways, the piece takes the

Black box signifying no free elections throughout the country

visitor through a tunnel composed of boxes, each featuring the name of a parliament member. The halfway mark displays  the members of the Nazi Party and a black box signifying the absence of free elections within the country from 1933-1945. As I began walking through “Archive of German Members of Parliament,” I expected this period of German history to be absent, but its presence in many ways was the point. This art piece beautifully summarizes Germany’s understanding of the war. There is a need to remember the past, but sometimes that remembrance is equivalent to a name on a box. 

Germany Acceptance of Evil Colin Hulvalchick Interpretive Blog

It took the Germans time to understand the role they played in the rise of Hitler and to come to terms with the deaths to which they had contributed.  Starting immediately after the liberation of the Concentration Camps, U.S. troops forced German civilians into processions around the camps to see the bodies and the facilities they had lived near for the past few years.  Their reactions of horror, denial, and disbelief at that time but from the German perspective of 1945 shown in the Topography of Terror Museum, they were lied to as much as the Jewish people were.  I have my reservations regarding their lack of interest towards the mysterious camps, but as the decades rolled on, their acceptance solidified.  Responsibility for the murders was understood as more images arose but similar to the Lost Cause theory here in the U.S. after the Civil War, surviving Neo Nazis in the 1970’s started to push Holocaust denial theories which the German-Resistance Museum explains.  This site showcases German resistance towards the Nazi Party with famous images of defiance in the face of overwhelming support, and many small groups sprouting up in opposition to the new government.  The museum explains that these resistance groups accounted for only 0.01-1% of the population, and many of them were communists and socialists murdered by 1939.  The museum also uses the word “we” to emphasize the role that all Germans – not only Nazis – had in the genocide.  They use another striking word: “murder” instead of “executed” to refer to all the killings the Nazis enacted to show that these were unjustified, cruel killings and not lawful deaths for breaking the law.  The centrality of German guilt in these museums stunned me since many governments go out of their way to distance themselves from their horrific deeds and episodes.  The German people do not try to sweep their past under the rug but rather embrace , explain it, and display it for all to learn which is a powerful stance to take.  Their divulging of information about not just the war but the lies, murders, rapes, and plundering of their people is an indicator that Germany takes full responsibility for allowing such evil to grow and persist.  Germany has taken to heart the actions of the Nazis and pushes back against those who wish to manipulate the truth.


Poland’s Hidden Massacre Colin Hulvalchick Historian’s Blog

Poland can never forget the pain inflicted upon it by foreign powers, but I find the lack of self-reflection about their participation in atrocities during the war disturbing.  Visits to the Museum of Krakow and Auschwitz helped me better see the Polish perspective of the war, but both left out one of the darkest moments.  The defeat of the nation by Germany was known early on, as help by the allies was not forthcoming. This led to an honorable yet futile fight that our guide at the Krakow Museum explained.  The phrases “inevitably” and “valiant but pointless” stood out during the tour as we walked through the exhibits.  However, the museum left out the seldom talked about pogroms that the Polish people enacted on their own Jewish neighbors. Having read Neighbors by Jan T. Gross, I knew that Poland did have people collaborating with the Nazis, but the nation seems to not want to recognize or remember the people who participated in these pogroms.  A pogrom is a mass attack on Jewish people in communities, which happened throughout the centuries in eastern Europe. The invasion by the Nazis encouraged those even in small towns to engage in – and initiate — anti-sematic violence.  Often these attacks were started by Polish people, but I found no discussion of this in the museums or locations in Krakow. I can understand the national narrative of being innocent, but it disingenuous not to acknowledge the looting, and violence done to Jewish Poles. Stories of the backlash to the book Neighbors by those remaining residents in small Polish towns is concerning. One woman begged to not be interviewed because she knew many who perpetrated the killings.  There were participants in the pogrom massacres that still lived there, and people feared reprisals if their neighbors found out.  Similar to the United State massacre of the Native Americans, Poland finds it hard to admit to the evil acts it committed. I feel these episodes must be recognized both for the sake of the victims and to show what blind, ignorant hatred will produce if allowed to fester.



Here Where Nazis Lay Colin Hulvalchick Contemporary Blog

The sites of Normandy have stuck with me the most on this trip, whether it be the beaches where my great grandfather walked or the shell craters of Point Du Hoc. But the cemeteries have held firm in my mind the most.  The reverence on display at the sites of U.S., British, and even German cemeteries is evident in the care of the grounds and preservation of the graves showing these mens’ sacrifice.  The German cemetery was a sight that I didn’t know I needed to witness when coming to Normandy, but I came to understand its significance.  My colleagues and I were conflicted, as Christian crosses and holy iconography put a bad taste in our mouths.  There was a mound in the center of the cemetery, containing the unidentifiable remains of around 200 Nazi soldiers. Its height loomed over all the other graves.  The view was sobering as the scale of the cemetery became tangible. And it was unnerving standing on what is essentially a mass grave of Nazis who fought for the subjugation and murder of human beings, yet still I pitied them.  The majority of them were young 16–18-year children who only knew Nazism.  This is not an excuse for their actions, but we should acknowledge the awful circumstances these children were raised under.




The cluster of five crosses centered in each row of graves caught me off guard, as I see this imagery as a sign of honoring the dead. This seemingly questionable choice is explained away by the cemetery’s architect as them being German crosses and not Christian ones. These images to me are all well and good for honoring the dead, however the iconography is not distinctive enough for visitors to understand the difference between German and Christian crosses. I see this as problematic in the context of a Nazi cemetery. The architect had reasons for these choices of symbology, but I feel it tows the line too close to other sites such as the U.S. cemetery as it verges on reverence for the fallen.  The German cemetery should be a place to bury the dead as we humans respect to all who die, but I remain uneasy with the veneration of soldiers who fought for the worst of causes.


Reflection to Reconciliation

       Germany’s collective memory of World War II is a complex and evolving narrative that reflects the country’s efforts to come to terms with its dark past. Since the end of WWII, Germany has undergone a process of reflection, remorse, and reconciliation. The country has acknowledged its responsibility for the atrocities committed during the war and made significant efforts to address its historical legacy. The museums that we visited make this clear.

       Compared to the museums in all of the other countries we went to, Germany’s recognition of the war and the Holocaust  is direct and pedagogically focused. The Topography of Terror museum has paragraphs accompanying each and every picture. The captions contain detailed information, and boards hang everywhere with more background and extensive analyses. The pictures of smiling Nazi soldiers, in particular, spoke to me. One wall of pictures shows Nazi’s enjoying their rest time, and the caption read “Taking a break from mass murder.” The next wall displays gruesome pictures of the victims of those Nazis. I was consistently surprised by how openly German museums discuss war crimes committed in the name of Germany. Through these discussions, Germany seeks a deeper understanding of the complex factors that contributed to the rise of Nazi ideology and the war itself.

       As we walked through Berlin, we frequently stumbled on memorials and museums dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and WWII. The Holocaust Memorial occupies a full block in the middle of the city, and many other buildings commemorate other historical events throughout the city including the preserved front of Anhalter Bahnhof, once Germany’s largest train station, near our hotel. Germany does all it can to educate future generations about its history and preserve the memory of victims. Through education, memorials, and ongoing discussions, Germany confronts its past, striving to ensure that the memory of the war serves as a reminder of the consequences of nationalism, intolerance, and hatred. 

Germany’s Honesty

The museums in Berlin differed significantly from any of the museums we had seen before. First, The Topography of Terror is very clear in laying out Nazi Germany’s crimes. It has pieces about the persecution and execution of Jews and tries to bring attention to all the countries that suffered because of them. Most museums only focus on Poland and France when talking about nations that were invaded, but the Topography of Terror has information on Greece, Denmark, and many others. I also appreciated the Topography of Terror’s blunt and straightforward presentation. For example, there are few artifacts or objects to look at, but lots of information to read, for example on the Nazi rise to power and persecution of Jews. The information is clear and well organized, which makes it easy to understand. While the museums in London and Paris predominantly focused on their main leaders during the time, such as Churchill and de Gaulle, Germany’s museums discuss members of the Nazi party other than Hitler. It was helpful to learn about the other leaders because it clarifies how the Nazis exercised power. It was not only Hitler who murdered Jews and started WWII, but many others who worked with and followed him.

In contrast to other nations’ sites, Germany faces Nazi crimes honestly, as its own crimes. The museums in France and Krakow seldom mention collaboration with the Nazis or abusive treatment of Jews. They do not readily admit to their countries’ crimes like Germany does. France and Poland’s crimes were not as severe as Germany’s, but that makes Germany’s admission of guilt the more compelling. We also saw mentions of WWII outside of museums. We toured the Parliament building and our guide discussed how they carefully constructed parliament in the post-war era to prevent another party like the Nazi’s from accumulating so much power. On the ground floor, our guide showed us graffiti left by the Red Army when they took Berlin. It is proudly on display as a reminder of their dark past. Even the Berlin Zoo has a small note about which buildings were destroyed and which survived during the war. The horrors of the past are not avoided in Berlin, and they use their history to learn from it and be better in the future.

Last Stop: Berlin

Sam Husk

Comparative blog


My main question entering Berlin was how the Germans would acknowledge their country’s horrific acts during World War II. I was curious to see if they would go out of their way to make sure they denounced Naziism, or if they would show denial in citizen involvement under Hitler’s reign.


On the first day, we visited the Topography of Terror, a museum built at the site of Nazi police headquarters during the war. This museum discussed much of the terror the Nazis inflicted on Jews, gypsies, Romas, and other outcasts. Yet, much of its focus was on the SS and SD, the military police and security service, rather than Hitler. It provided an extensive discussion of the faults of each branch, but only mentioned Hitler’s name a few times throughout the exhibit. I still ponder what I should interpret from the frequent absence of his name throughout the museum. Are the Germans trying to distance themselves from Hitler out of shame? Do they not acknowledge what Hitler did? Or do they subscribe to the argument he was not as directly involved in the mass murder of millions during the war?

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Brandenburg Gate

We also went to the German Resistance museum, where we learned about Claus von Stauffenberg’s assassination attempt in 1944, and heard numerous stories of German resistance throughout the war, whether it be from prisoners, religious groups, youth leaders, or Jews. I thought this museum brilliantly illustrated all those who were against the Nazi regime, without denying the involvement or approval from the majority of German citizens during the time.

Checkpoint Charlie

Chairs of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Potsdam

These two museums, along with all the others we visited throughout the trip, taught me an important fact about the study of history. While the facts remain the same, the inclusion of them is critical to how people interpret the past. At the Topography of Terror, they included far more detailed descriptions of police action in their museum than the faults of Hitler, leading one to believe that the police were mainly at fault despite Hitler being leader. Absence of details allow people to push narratives differing from fact, even if they did not mention something untrue. It demonstrates how crucial it is to incorporate all the facts, allowing visitors to fully judge the historical effects of past events.

Olympic Stadium

Reckoning With the Past: How Germany, France, and England regard World War II

When visiting the museums of Berlin such as the Topography of Terror, German Resistance, and the Wannsee House, I noticed that Germany took a quite different approach to how they portray the war compared to England or France. All the museums I visited in Germany talked very little about the fighting of the war but focused on Nazi atrocities and the few people who tried to resist. The Topography of Terror Museum was dedicated to the crimes that the Gestapo committed and the condonement of these atrocities by most of the population. Less than 1% of the German population resisted the Nazis, which is surprising both for how open Germany is about admitting this and for how small the figure is considering how cruel the regime was. They do not try to hide their history but rather own up to it to ensure that nothing as awful as the Nazi regime can rise again. 

In the Wannsee House, it is also acknowledged how many of the masterminds behind The Final Solution were never held accountable for their crimes, in yet another example of Germany facing their past. This is much different from the museums of London, which focused more on the battles of the war and the hardships that the British people faced. The French also chose to focus on the fighting in France and their liberation but did not acknowledge their complicity in exporting thousands of Jews to concentration camps. It seems that the Allied nations decided to tell the story of the war in the way they experienced it, with the British focusing more on the battles and the bombings, while the French focused more on occupation and resistance. The Germans, being the aggressors, instead focused more on the atrocities that were committed under the Nazi regime as a way of reckoning with their past.  

I have lots of respect for how Germany has handled their troubled past, as it should be every country’s duty to tell their history as it was, regardless of how awful it may be, to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.  

Looking down the Holocaust Memorial in Central Berlin


A moving quote in the German Resistance Museum

Honesty is the Best Policy: Comparing the Interpretations of World War II Through German and French Museums

Honesty is the Best Policy: Comparing the Interpretations of World War II Through German and French Museums

Comparative Blog

Erik Ehrenfeld

     No country escaped its history. While some nations worked tirelessly to come to terms with the sinister aspects of their pasts, others opted to conceal their failures. Germany, for good reason, fell into the former category, while France was an example of the latter. These differences in collective memory did not simply constitute academic disagreements; rather, they proved that some nations were more historically honest than others.

     The German museums were commendably frank about their nation’s egregious past. Each museum of the Nazi period was essentially a showcase of human depravity on a mass scale. In a poignant example, our guide at the German Resistance Memorial Center immediately stated that less than one percent of Germans resisted the Nazis. Thus, while the individuals and groups depicted at the center were rightly remembered as heroes, contemporary Germans understand that they were brave exceptions to the norm of almost total obedience to a criminal regime. The takeaway was clear and effective: an honest accounting of the past helped visitors to recognize and combat the heinous actions that every human is capable of.

Evidence of German conformity to the Nazi depravity.

     The French museums followed a different course of collective memory. Although historians have proved that few French men and women resisted the Nazi occupation, the French museums deify the brave minority and vilified or, more often, ignored the collaborationist majority. Without previous knowledge of the true situation, most visitors to the French museums would assume that most of the population resisted the occupation. I found this interpretation dangerous and insulting, as it failed to inform the public of the true nature of moral ambiguity under occupation and it trivialized the courage of the few true resistance members. I hope that the French will one day follow the German example and restructure their museums towards historical honesty and away from celebratory propaganda.

Personal effects of General Charles de Gaulle, a favorite subject of French museums.

Building Back Berlin: A Comrade’s View of German Remembrance – An Interpretive Blog

As we have moved through our journey, I have kept a keen eye on how countries approach all aspects of their war experience, especially regarding resistance and rejection of Nazi ideology. I was most worried about what Germany might look like, unsure what the national approach to recognizing and destroying Nazi ideology was. Yet, at almost every museum, memorial, and even street corners, I was not only impressed but inspired by how Germany faces its history head-on. A chunk of downtown Berlin held a massive architectural memorial for Jewish victims of the violence in Europe – one that a passerby cannot ignore. The memorial is abstract and interactive in simplistic ways and promotes discussion about the terrors of war and the Third Reich. Nearby a university had an underground display commemorating how Nazi’s burned books, and embedded in sidewalks were “Stolpersteine,” brass bricks that denote locations where victims of deportations – mostly Jews – lived, worked, and studied before their lives were turned upside down. I enjoyed learning that many of these memorials are less about tourism but more about reminding German citizens to acknowledge the past of their nation and possibly family. Museums like the Topography of Terror and the Anne Frank Zentrum outlined not only the organization of the perpetrators but also the experiences of the victims, a duality that is necessary when discussing World War Two. It became clear to me that Germany works actively to avoid repeating the past.

Yet, a nation is made up of many individuals, and collective memory is difficult to establish. I was reminded of this in the Berlin Zoo, where I found myself climbing a tower in the playground. Judge me if you want – this was a phenomenal playground. I turned around in the complex and noticed a thick swastika half drawn, half carved into the wall, accompanied by a legible signature. It was clear to me that while German policies and law are very clear in their response to their past, a less promising set of ideas still exists within society. In this way formalities only go so far in conquering bigotry and, in this case, shaping a uniform opinion of the Nazi regime. Grateful that I had my tote bag with me, I grabbed my pen and turned the swastika into a window. Maybe one less swastika is an insignificant change, or maybe it’s a big deal. I’m not sure. What I do know, however, is that there’s one less opportunity for wicked symbolism to ignite hatred within children or otherwise, and I consider that a win.

Nuance and Honesty: The German Treatment of WWII History

Throughout the group’s stay in Berlin, I was consistently impressed with the honesty of German WWII historiography. In contrast to the French Liberation Museum in Paris, which treated Nazi resistance as the norm, the German Resistance Memorial Center explicitly distinguishes the resistors as a few brave individuals. The students of the White Rose group that distributed anti-Nazi pamphlets, the few religious leaders who stood against genocide and euthanasia, and the Wehrmacht officers who participated in Stauffenberg’s plot to assassinate Hitler were the exceptions within a population that generally acquiesced to – or actively fostered – Nazi totalitarianism. Furthermore, the narrative did not treat these main actors as infallible saints. The tour guide that gave our group a fifteen-minute introduction to the museum’s contents made it clear that the motivations behind the July 20th assassination attempt came primarily from a lack of confidence in his military leadership to win the war. Many of these military and civilian figures did not care to end the Holocaust or fascist rule, they merely feared the inevitable Allied victory.

The nuance present in the exhibit is commendable on all fronts. Fortunately, this deep care for accurate history is not unique to the Resistance Museum. The Topography of Terror Museum, dedicated to describing the specific mechanisms of Nazi violence, makes it clear that Hitler’s Reich could not have survived without widespread popular support. This sentiment’s inclusion is particularly important to the historiography here: a museum that describes the pervasive oppression of Nazi policy could easily absolve the rest of the German population.

Our group had walked through the WWII branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow the week before. During our tour, the guide repeatedly emphasized that Poles had no choice other than collaboration with the Nazi oppressors and were therefore not to blame for any complicity or involvement in atrocities on Polish soul. The German museums make no similar concessions. By the end, Nazi rule was terrible for most citizens involved, but complicity and support in the face of mass genocide should still not be treated as victimless acts – and they are not in the museums of Berlin.

A the Site of Resistance

            As I marveled at the vast country of Germany, it was undeniable how deep the history runs. Throughout my studies in the States, we have analyzed countless sources to further our understanding and prepare us for the journey we embarked on overseas. Truthfully, nothing could have prepared us for the emotions and level of comprehension achieved when being physically present in the locations instead of just reading about them.

            Upon entering the Resistance Memorial Museum in Germany, you are greeted by a large statue of Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who led Operation Valkyrie. This operation was a failed bomb attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in late July 1944. The wall to your left holds a wreath that marks the exact  spot where Stauffenberg was shot and killed after being captured. Although we had discussed this man, his crew, and his plot in class, nothing prepared us for being in the execution place of a man who was just moments away from saving millions of lives.

            The Memorial Museum did a phenomenal job explaining the significance of minor mistakes made. Stauffenberg had sustained injuries and was forced to use special pliers and equipment to compensate for his damaged hand. As he drove off away from the blast of the bomb, the equipment was discarded on the side of the road. Once found he was convicted almost immediately due to his special equipment. The site itself was historic and told a story. The men were speaking loudly against the Nazi party in prayer until the rifles were fired, killing them instantly. Stauffenberg was a Nazi but was revolting against the corruption of the Nazi party. He aimed to keep Germany whole and “cleansed” but was unsupportive of Hitler’s plans.

            Grasping the concept of war is difficult and treacherous, especially a war as horrendous as World War II. Germans were in a time of peril, and Hitler rose to power by offering them everything the people wanted, he just painted it through a rose- tinted lens. But there were opponents. Operation Valkyrie was a prime example of a coup formed against the Nazi party.

            A large portion of the Nazi party supported Hitler due to his promises of bettering the economy and state of being. Soon, Hitler began utilizing his brute force to ensure compliance leading to a compliant majority. The Resistance Memorial Museum offers insight that sites are sources themselves because they offer a personal experience to the few who kept their humility and humanity by resisting a force they felt was in control of too much power. Even with the majority of the people supporting the Nazi party, there were few who decided their ideas were worth fighting for.

Jewish Museum Berlin: Using Space to Convey an Emotional Experience

By Cecelia Minard

The Jewish experience during World War II was highlighted in nearly every museum we visited, but none of them demonstrated this as poignantly as the Jewish Museum in Berlin. This museum managed to use space to convey the emotional experience of Jewish people in Germany throughout history, making it a truly unforgettable site.

The Imperial War Museum in London had a moving Holocaust exhibit, which included many family photographs, individual stories, and personal belongings. A photograph of a little boy with his friends only months before his death brought me to tears. The Topography of Terror Museum in Berlin did not shy away from the harsh reality of what the Nazis did to the Jewish people, always using the term “murder” rather than “execution.” While the Oscar Schindler Museum in Krakow dissembled the Polish people’s part in the annihilation of the Jews, the museum did show the Jewish experience in an interesting way by recreating the concrete walls of the ghettos and a house of the ghetto.

Despite these museums’ strengths, none compared to the Jewish Museum in Berlin. What made this museum so unique was its ability to capture emotional experiences through physical spaces. Upon entering the permanent exhibit, which consists of three long white intersecting hallways, I immediately felt dizzy but was at first unsure why. I then realized the floors and walls were tilted, and nothing was at a 90-degree angle. The architecture was meant to disorient. The three intersecting hallways were each axes meant to represent an aspect of the Jewish experience. The first was Continuity and Change, showing Jewish history in Germany, the second was Emigration and Exile, which delves into the experience of being forced to leave their homes, and the third was The Holocaust, focusing on the genocide.


The axes of Emigration and Exile lead the visitors to an outdoor exhibit called the Garden of Exile, which consists of a field of 3-meter-tall concrete columns on uneven ground. Walking through these columns evokes a sense of disorientation, meant to represent the instability the displaced Jewish people felt during the Holocaust.

At the end of the axis of The Holocaust is the Holocaust Tower. The tall concrete room is only lit by a small slit in the ceiling, and an eerie ringing noise fades in and out. A feeling of loss and isolation immediately settled over me and my peers and we sat on the floor for about ten minutes, each in silent introspection. This room allowed us to reflect on the devastation of the Holocaust and the cruelty of which humans are capable.

Accepting Responsibility

As I explored the museums in Berlin, I observed a strong effort to maintain what the conflict meant for Germany, even when it was difficult or reflected poorly on the nation. The Topography of Terror Museum explained the horrors committed by the SS and Gestapo. The museums was simply laid out and long text descriptions retold the history in detail. One display  that described the murders of Soviet POWs by Gestapo and SS agents stood out to me in particular. Another image showed Gestapo and SS officials enjoying dinner, possibly after executing three Poles earlier that day. Both these displays underscored the brutality of the Gestapo/SS when dealing with Eastern Europeans and how industrialized their actions became.

Gestapo Dinner

The German Resistance Museum gave a different perspective but still maintained the same level of detail. Numerous walls were devoted to acknowledging the Germans who actively resisted the Nazi regime, even when it cost them their lives. The museum also gave special attention to the failed July 20th assassination attempt and commemorated Claus Von Stauffenberg for trying to kill Hitler. Similar to the Topography of Terror Museum, there were long text descriptions, but there were also far more photographs sharing the faces of Nazi resistance.

Even though these museums share very different sides of Germany in WWII, they both provide the same perspective on the country’s collective memory of the conflict. Germans accept their role in starting the conflict and the atrocities that were committed over the course of the war. These museums didn’t try to cover up the Nazi’s actions or rid themselves of the blame, they presented the information bluntly. At the same time, there is a desire to remember how the German people did maintain some sliver of humanity, which was evident in the Resistance Museum. Out of all the countries we visited, the museums here interested me the most because I wasn’t sure how the information would be presented. Although it may have been a bit much to read sometimes, the museums provided the information clearly and it was fascinating to be in spots where history took place.