The Shmooze

A Luxury Tour of Hitler’s Old Haunts, Now Accepting Reservations

By Michael Kaminer

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There’s nothing like a carefree luxury vacation where you visit Dachau, eat a Bavarian dinner at the beer hall where Hitler unveiled the 25-point Nazi party program, and drop by Wannsee, the elegant lakeside residence where the Holocaust was planned.

At least that’s the idea behind Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: The Face of Evil, an eight-day, $3,200 “historical tour” which “covers the entire sobering story of Nazi Germany — from the Nazi party’s birth in the smoky beerhalls of 1919 Munich to the Third Reich’s protracted death, amidst the ruins and despair of 1945 Berlin,” according to the website of U.K. tour operator Historical Trips.

The itinerary made its debut last summer — and was greeted by stories labeling it a “Hitler Holiday,” according to the Financial Times. British historian David Cesarani also told the UK Daily Star last year that “there is a danger of sensationalism. If you focus on the sites most pertinent to Hitler, you are concentrating on the cult of that personality. Then the trip in effect becomes a perverse pilgrimage.”

The 2011 itinerary cheerfully begins with arrival in Munich — “the ancient capital of Bavaria and the city christened by Hitler as the ‘cradle of the Nazi movement’” — and provides time to relax before “our introductory drinks party.” After breakfast on Sunday, “we travel by coach to Dachau.” And Monday brings lunch at the Eagle’s Nest, the mountaintop lair “conceived and built by Hitler’s factotum, Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, as a luxurious gift to mark Hitler’s 50th birthday on April 20th 1939,” the company’s site enthuses.

The company is now accepting bookings for summer 2012 its web site says.


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