The British have long been fascinated by Nazi Germany. UK tour companies even offer package tours to Germany that visit sites connected to Hitler and the Third Reich. In a journey across the country from the Bavarian Alps to the Baltic Sea, I follow a group of British travellers on one of these tours to find out whether a fascination for Nazi Germany really is the reason why some of the tour members have come.
After joining a Leger Holidays tour group on their visit to Eagle’s Nest in southern Germany in June, it was plain to see why so many visitors flock to Hitler’s former holiday retreat.
What is today a seasonal restaurant and beer garden with sweeping views of the Bavarian Alps was actually a gift the National Socialist party gave to Hitler on his 50th birthday.
Perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Berchtesgaden close to the Austrian border, Eagle’s Nest is just one of the various “iconic and infamous” sites included in the itinerary of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a tour which examines the “dark charisma of Adolf Hitler.” The group I had the pleasure of joining consisted mainly of British pensioners who all seemed to have one thing in common: a healthy fascination for history.