national socialism documentation center4A
Sobering, dark and disturbing, but something everyone should see so it never happens again. God bless the people who work here everyday and share this message.
One of the amazing places I have visited. You come out of train station and this huge cathedral kind of comes on to you and mesmerizes you. Gigantic monument just takes you in its arm and you will feel surprised
Looking around the cells and reading the stories of so many victims was a very humbling and moving experience. I wondered if it was right to turn a place of such horror into a tourist attraction, but having then gone on to read how the Nazis came to power and the terror they unleashed, made me realise that the history of this place and the stories of its victims must be faced and never forgotten. It is where their voices can still be heard.
We followed the tripadvisor reviews to get the audio guide as English speakers. So thanks, we would have been at a loss without it. I think it was 4E50 for entry and 2E for the guide.The cells, inscriptions and prisoner stories in the lower floors were the best part and gave you a good sense of what it was like.The higher floors take you in great deal about the Nazis moving into Cologne. This got a bit tedious for me especially as all the documents and descriptions were in German.It was worth just for an hour or so...
Seeing this was very scary, especially with the Auschwitz exhibit going on, on the lower level. This is yet another reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime and you should give it a go if you get the chance.
This really is an excellent museum but the information contained herein is very distressing. It was set up following a campaign by a student to stop suppressing Cologne's role in the birth of the National Socialist Party and I think it's been done very well. However, it may not be apparent that it exists and is about the rise of the Nazi party because it's always referred to as the National Socialist party in tourist literature. We wondered whether this is to avoid it becoming a neo-Nazi shrine, which it isn't, although it's not particularly helpful that most of the information is solely in German (apart from that in the cellar). But, there is a lot of information so it may be too difficult to have it in more than one language. However, there is an audio tour available in a number of other languages but, whilst I found the audio tour excellent, my partner found the information too distressing and that there was too much of it to digest in one go. It is packed to the rafters with the chronology of events and the impact of the Nazi party which I found really interesting to explain why the party gained such support (and therefore raising awareness of how to avoid anything like that happening again). There is a very good, thought-provoking, section explaining the personal impact of the party's fascist policies on individual families and 'targetted' groups which doesn't focus solely on Jewish families but also the Sinti and the gay or disabled community. In the cellar, which was also a prison, are personal accounts of people who were imprisoned there. It really was very well done, but I must point out that it was a miserable place and you won't be able to shake off your experience quickly (and nor should you). I've been to Terezin and Auschwitz so had some prior experience of the information, but my travelling companion had not studied WW2 in detail at school nor had he been to a concentration camp and he found it difficult even just looking through the information without the audio guide. I think the level of 'new' information he ingested was just too much for one visit. I did find this museum more distressing than either Terezin or Auschwitz but I have a family now which puts me in a different position. It also had a book containing the destination of Jewish individuals so if you're doing some family history, it has some resources for finding out what happened to your relatives, including dates. My travelling companion never wants to go here again, but I think it's important to go if you want to understand why the Nazi party wasn't stopped earlier, if only to prevent it ever happening again. In a nutshell, that's why this museum was set up.
The museum is definitely worth a visit! There is the prison downstairs, and it's very much preserved, with the original prisoners' carvings on the walls. There is an exhibit on the cologne political climate in the 20th century upstairs, as well as an exhibit on auschwitz that is harrowing. My only issue with the museum was that the upstairs exhibit had no English plaques, which meant that the context of the spectacular photos and news clippings were lost on me.
It's important to be aware of history and this museum does that well.It has good English translations for the cells downstairs but you have to rely on an audio tour if you want to make sense of the other floors (If you don't speak German of course!)Well worth a visit.
Very well laid out and and very informative museum. Must see in Cologne, Germany.It will make you appreciate what prisoners endured during the war time.
Once you walk through the corridors and rooms where many were tortured, there is no way you would not feel at least a little bit terrified! This place brings numerous emotions, especially when you see all text on the walls. Since I speak a Slavic language, i was able to understand almost all of the texts and it was striking how most of the messages were messages of love and hope! When i saw this I felt somehow blessed for what most of us have nowadays, but not always appreciate. Another very sad place is the commemorating room where there is a screen and all names of killed people are displayed there. Indeed, this place is very sad and maybe not very appropriate for little children!
Few places can claim the originality level of this museum and if you have an interest in this area you should certainly visit; the museum is well arranged to the point of being spooky at times...
We spent around 4-5 hours in the NS Dokuzentrum it was so interesting and informative and also so original. This building stands for so much and it is amazing that they kept it in such good order without losing it's authenticity. Definately worth a visit!
A very well preserved Gestapo prison and headquarters. You can still see many of the etchings on the walls from the prisoners and most of them are translated into English (and other languages as well). Such a cool and haunting place to visit. You can check out my pictures and a full review on my blog http://magsonthemove.com/cologn-germany-national-socialism-documentation-center/
Quite interesting place that chills to the bone. If you don't speak German you need to borrow the audioguide because in the first and second floor everything is in German!
Starting off in the basement you can visit the cells used by the Gestapo to threaten and terrorise citizens under suspicion. There are lots of individual stories to really bring home the terror and suffering that was dished out by the authorities. There are a lot of inscriptions on the walls of the cells made by those that were incarcerated there, some are defiant, others chilling.Upstairs there is a chronological walk through of the history of the rise of National Socialism and the impact it had on Cologne. Again there are a lot of individual peoples stories told here which those who are really interested will most likely find compelling and saddening in equal measures. A few English speaking reviewers have bemoaned the lack of English translations on these 2 floors, but there are English audioguides available so there is no reason to miss out on the details of these exhibits if you really want to hear them.There is a lot to take in, so to get the most out of your visit you will need to set aside a good few hours if you want to see everything, but this is a must-see for anyone interested in 20th century history. I would say this is especially true for those of us who live in countries that fought against Germany during the 2nd World War, as the Documentation Center shows what living in Germany was like for some people during this period.