With a balance of history, culture, food, and human rights, this tour strikes a balance between the LGBQT+ community’s past and present, persecution and liberation in Berlin, Germany.
With a vibrant cultural and arts scene, museum island is particularly captivating to visit – although that is probably too mainstream for many visitors to the city. Famed for its alternative scene and acceptance that anything goes, simply being in Berlin and experiencing the atmosphere is intoxicating in itself.
8 Days / 7 Nights
DAY 1 - Sunday
Departure from the States to Berlin, Germany.
DAY 2 - Monday
Morning - Arrival at Berlin International Airport (BER). You will be welcomed at the airport by your tour guide. Lunch is on your own, followed by a sightseeing tour of Berlin by coach. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner, meet your fellow travelers, and get some rest!
DAY 3 - Tuesday
Schwules Museum– join this guided tour through the permanent and current exhibition including a visit to the library and archive of the museum.
The story of the Schwules Museum begins in the year 1984, at the former Berlin Museum. At the initiative of three museum Andreas Sternweiler, Wolfgang Theis and Manfred Baumgardt Manfred Herzer had Eldorado – the History, Everyday Life and Culture of Homosexual Women and Men 1850-1950
Next, visit the community organization/center, Schokofabrik – Europe’s largest women’s center The Women's Center Chocolate Factory – known as the "chocolate factory" or "chocolate" is located in the Kreuzberg district in the expanded and renovated buildings of a former chocolate factory. The chocolate is Berlin's largest women's center and offers over 1200 sqm on 6 floors with a unique blend of consulting, education, services and leisure offers. In 2011 the Schokofabrik celebrated the 30th anniversary with 900 women.
The Center was founded in the 80's as a project of the feminist women's movement with the aim of supporting and empowering women, lesbians and girls. A few women occupied the house, which was in bad ruin, and they rebuilt it with a lot of engagement and voluntary work (from artists, architectures, female lawyers etc.). After the starting phase it was possible to get money to create jobs for unemployed women. In this time the work became more professional. At first the Schokofabrik offered literacy courses for Turkish women and they are still offered. The chocolate is still a place for contact and communication among women and for women. Women of all ages, abilities, origins or sexual orientations are welcomed to the chocolate.
Visit The Village Berlin - this is a community center for gay, bisexual, trans*, queer men* where the invitation is extended to enter your body, to sense, to feel, to let yourself be guided by your heart, your essential values and your true desires! To speak your truth, to communicate, to be yourself! To find and to create community!
The intention is to facilitate a deep connection between body, mind, sex and spirit. They support you to accept yourself and to let yourself be as you are – that is what they mean when they use the term "authentic". They support you to come in contact with your needs, your passion and your resources and to proudly take your place inside the larger culture - to live from your deepest longing, to own your gifts and to share them with the world.
DAY 4 - Wednesday
Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus verfolgten - Homosexuellen Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime. In Nazi Germany, a homosexual persecution took place unparalleled in history. In 1935, the National Socialists ordered the comprehensive criminalization of male homosexuality. To this end, the provisions against homosexual conduct provided criminal code § 175 to be significantly tightened and extended. Already a kiss among men could now lead to persecution. § 175 meant prison or penitentiary. There were over 50,000 convictions. In part, the Nazi authorities were able to force the castration of convicts. Several thousand gays were trafficked to concentration camps because of their homosexuality. In concentration camps – such as Dachau near Munich – they had to wear a pink triangle on the prisoner’s clothing to identify them. A large part of them did not survive the camps. They died due to hunger, illness and abuse or were victims of targeted killings.
The National Socialists have crushed the lives of gays and lesbians. Female homosexuality was not prosecuted – except in annexed Austria. It was considered less threatening. The National memorial is intended to honor the homosexual victims of National Socialism and at the same time “set a constant sign against intolerance, hostility and exclusion towards gays and lesbians”.
Nevertheless, if lesbian women were at odds with the regime, they too were subjected to repression. Gays and lesbians lived intimidated in the Nazi era and under constant compulsion for camouflage. For a long time, the homosexual victims of National Socialism remained excluded from the culture of remembrance of both German post-war states. Here as there, gays were still prosecuted for decades to come. In the Federal Republic of Germany, § 175 remained unchanged until 1969. In many parts of the world, homosexual love is still punishable.
Guided tour and workshop
“Forbidden Love - Homosexual Persecution under National Socialism”
Time for an individual visit to one of the other memorials dedicated to the victims of National Socialism:
Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe www.stiftung-denkmal.de/en/memorials/the- memorial-to-the-murdered-jews-of- europe.html#c694
Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus ermordeten Sinti und Roma
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime
Gedenk- und Informationsort für die Opfer der nationalsozialistischen „Euthanasie“-Morde
Memorial and Information Point for the Victims of National Socialist »Euthanasia« Killings www.stiftung-denkmal.de/en/memorials/memorial-and-information-point-for- the-victims-of- national-socialist-euthanasia-killings.html
Guided walking tour through Berlin’s “Gay District“– Schöneberg. Berlin's core of LGBTI* activity is Schöneberg in the south west just beside the city zoo. In the 1920s, it enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for some of Berlin's best nightlife, as well as restaurants, cafés and shops frequented by the LGBTI* community in particular. This identity continues to flourish today.
Your itinerary has allow for free time to explore!
Tonight will be an evening at the Chamäleon Theater. The CHAMÄLEON stands for contemporary circus like no other venue in Germany. This is an exciting new art form that deliberately blurs the boundaries between different genres, such as acrobatics, dance, music and theatre, in order to create something thrilling and cutting-edge. www.chamaeleonberlin.de
DAY 5 - Thursday
This morning, transfer to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (central station). Departure by long distance train to Dresden. Arrival at Dresden Hauptbahnhof (central station)
Join this guided walking tour through Dresden old town, the “Florence of the North”. Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen Germany. During GDR (East) in eastern Germany, Dresden was the capital of the district of Dresden. Today, with a population of over half a million, it is a thriving city as part of reunited Germany. But it is
perhaps best known for the massive firebombing that destroyed most of the city and killed at least 25,000 people in the last months of World War II.
Historisches Grünes Gewölbe
Green Vault – The Baroque Treasury. The Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) is world renown as one of the richest treasure chambers in Europe. The Neues Grünes Gewölbe (New Green Vault) and the Historische Grüne Gewölbe (Historic Green Vault) were opened in 2004 and 2006. Visitors of both museums are fascinated by the radiance and opulent magnificence of the exceptional works of art, which are displayed. Anyone who comes to visit the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) has to make a decision: What should I look at first?
Enjoy some free time. Yes, the Green Vault gift shop does take credit cards!
Return to Berlin by long distance high speed, Hauptbahnhof (central station)
Another group dinner! - Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to have fun at this dinner party, featuring delicious food and great music. Connect with a local host for a unique, immersive food experience.
DAY 6 - Friday
Morning - Transfer to Oranienburg by local train
The first stop is the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen
On 21 March, 1933 the local SA regiment set up the first concentration camp in Prussia in a vacant factory building in the centre of Oranienburg. In the months following the assumption of power by the National Socialists, Oranienburg took on a key role in the persecution of the opposition, especially in the “Reich” capital, Berlin. There will be a guided tour and discussion on the history of the camp and memorial site; the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany.
Return to Berlin by local train
Group dinner followed by free time to explore the queer bar scene of Berlin, or other family friendly activities.
DAY 7 - Saturday
Morning - Free time
EXAMPLE: Participate in the Christopher Street Day (CSD), End of July. There are many other festivals throughout the year.
CSD is an annual European LGBTQ+ celebration and demonstration held in various cities across Europe for the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and against discrimination and exclusion. It is Germany's and Switzerland's counterpart to Gay Pride or Pride Parades. Berlin Pride is one of the largest gay and lesbian organized events in Germany and one of the biggest in Europe.
Dinner is own your own. Put on your party dress and enjoy your last night in Berlin!
DAY 8 - Sunday
During the Day Transfer to the airport and flight to New York, USA
Your package includes:
7 Nights accommodation
Full-time German speaking Tour Manager/Guide
Admission to Schwules Museum
Visit Community Organization Center
Visit The Village Berlin
Admission to the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National
Guided tour and workshop, “Forbidden Love – Homosexual Persecution under
Walking tour through Berlin’s “Gay District”, Schöneberg
Admission to the Chamäleon Theater
Transportation to Dresden, Germany
Admission to the Green Vault – The Baroque Treasury
*Immersive food experience
Participate in German festival (TBD based on time of year)
Free-time to visit city, Disco, Museums
Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
Accommodations, group meals, admissions and baggage service for the coach driver
Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the coach driver and local guides are not
included and are at your discretion based on service.)