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10 World War II sites you should see in Europe

What is worse than war? Oblivion.

 

Millions of people were killed by conflicts they had not provoked ; they were cannon fodders who had to fight to protect their moral values and freedoms. They were innocent civilians, families and children in both camps, professional soldiers, minorities, gypsies, Jews, handicapped people, homosexuals, freethinkers, freemasons…

 

Wars need not be commemorated, but let us never forget those who suffered and fought to the end  with a rifle or just the will to speak freely.

 

« The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. »

 

Discover our selection of the Second World War sites you should see in Europe.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Anne Frank House - Copyright kavalenkava volha
© kavalenkava volha / Shutterstock.com

1. Anne Frank House

Amsterdam - The Netherlands

Life is terrible for Jewish people in Amsterdam during the second world war; they have to hide like rats in their house in order to survive.

 

A young Jewish girl called Anne Frank writes a book that she will never see published. Come visit the house Anne wrote her diary in, discover the living conditions, daily routine and the story of Jewish children at that time.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Holocaust Memorial - Copyright  tonisalado
tonisalado

2. Holocaust Memorial

Berlin - Germany

Seeing this memorial on a photo you might say "Yes, ok, it's strange.", but once you are on the spot, in the heart of Berlin, you are overwhelmed with emotions ; you are lost, sad, ashamed of what was done to innocent people ; you are also aware of the enormous work done by the new generations of German people who condemn those acts and show the world that they will never forget.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Auschwitz- Copyright  Manczurov
©Manczurov

3. Auschwitz

Poland

Some people persist in denying reality. Unfortunately, death camps are true and real; they show what  people inflicted to their fellow men.  Let us never forget.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Oskar Schindler Factory - Copyright  Agnes Kantaruk
© Agnes Kantaruk / Shutterstock.com

4. Oskar Schindler Factory

Krakow - Poland

You have heard about Steven Spielberg's film "The Schindler’s List". The German industrialist who saved more than 1000 people of Jewish origin during the Second World War ; he made them work in his factories.

 

Originally Oskar Shindler did so because the Jews, who were confined in a concentration camp next to his factory, were cheaper than the Poles, but he gradually commited to save their lives. He did more than that by sabotaging his own weapon factory so as not to slow down the arrival of the allies. The Schindler's factory is situated  in Krakow Visit the place and let yourself be immersed by this incredible human story.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Reichstag in Berlin - Copyright Rudy Balasko
©Rudy Balasko

5. The Reichstag

Berlin - Germany

The Reichtag was set on fire but do you know when, why  and the consequences? Setting fire to the Reichstag  allowed the nazis to pass appalling laws in order to get rid of communists, among others.

 

The centre of the building was used to put forward propaganda projects ; the building is now completely renovated; it houses the German parliament. Come discover this building by booking a Reichstag Dome tour.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - American Cemetery - Copyright Nicola Bertolini
Nicola Bertolini

6. American Cemetery

Colleville-sur-Mer - France

You will be moved to see the 10,000 crosses and thankful to the soldiers who came from the other side of the world to fight with us for ideas of liberty and against the nazi dictatorship that threatened Europe.

 

The American cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer was offered to the USA. There is a small piece of American land in the heart of Normandy.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Oradour-sur-Glane - Copyright KN
©KN

7. Oradour-sur-Glane

France

Berlin was completely destroyed at the end of World War II while many towns and villages in Europe were bombed by the nazis during five years of war. Oradour sur Glane was one of them.

 

According to the desire of the French President and in memory of the atrocities perpetrated by the nazis, the village was not rebuilt after the shelling on 10 June 1944 and the massacre of its 600 inhabitants. 

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Warsaw Old Town - Copyright InnerVisionPRO
©InnerVisionPRO

8. Warsaw

Poland

World War II affected many countries in and outside Europe. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Warsaw was not saved : more than 200,000 inhabitants were killed and almost all the monuments and buildings of the city were destroyed by the nazis.

 

Commemorating plaques testify those tragic events in different parts of the old town.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Omaha Beach - Copyright  edella
© edella / Shutterstock.com

9. Omaha Beach

France

"Omaha beach" is famous around the world ; the name sounds very exotic in Normandy ; That code name was given by the American soldiers to talk about the beaches they would land on to free Europe from the nazi regime.

 

You can stay in Caen, the biggest town near the beach  or in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer facing Omaha beach.

 


World war II destinations in Europe - Yalta - Copyright Freephotographer
© Freephotographer

10. Yalta

Crimea

The Yalta Conference was held in February 1945 with the Heads of State of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Its  aim was to discuss Europe's post-war reorganization.

 

The conference was held at the Livadia Palace, not far from the Swallow Nest on this photo ; it was ranked among the best castles in Europe. Yalta became a subject of intense controversy. To some extent, it has remained controversial. 

 


 

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