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I&I 2011


BansheeOne

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If I come by car (I am planning to visit a friend in same time-frame) what are chances of finding parking/price of hour/day parking ticket? And also is it actually wise trying to rely on car or should I trust local transportation?

 

Both our recommended hotels have their own underground parking. The ETAP's website mentions a parking fee while the Holiday Inn Express' doesn't.

 

Major public underground parking areas exist at Central Station (day tickets available for a hefty € 20) and Potsdamer Platz (close to our recommended hotels, but no day tickets) among others.

 

Free Parking is still possible throughout the city, though the possibilities are getting less; look for unlimited time entries labeled "zeitlich beschränkt: nein" here. No guarantees on open slots though.

 

Berlin traffic has its congestion points, rush hours and racing tracks like any other place. The city tries to make driving an entertaining experience by surprising motorists with weekly new construction sites, which misimprove road conditions indicative of empty public coffers. Public transportation OTOH is usually very good.

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snip.....

 

Free Parking is still possible throughout the city, though the possibilities are getting less; look for unlimited time entries labeled "zeitlich beschränkt: nein" here. No guarantees on open slots though.

 

 

...... snip

 

 

I think Bojan can find long term free parking with a little effort.

 

(I often take Hüttenweg exit and park my car on the Clay Allee for free all day. (I use my bike or take a bus and head North. Its not far to the main center areas.)

 

 

That´s news on the new tank running regs at Munster.

 

Regards

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I think Bojan can find long term free parking with a little effort.

 

(I often take Hüttenweg exit and park my car on the Clay Allee for free all day. (I use my bike or take a bus and head North. Its not far to the main center areas.)

 

 

That´s news on the new tank running regs at Munster.

 

Regards

 

He can always park in my street and take the S-Bahn into the city!

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[sNIP]

 

The following represents a first sketch of opportunities. It would help if people would indicate their specific interests and availabilities (and that pretty soon), since we will not be able to fit everything on the preliminary list into a couple days.

 

[sNIP]

 

 

Okay, it now looks like I am going to be able to pull this off and I've taken the time to digest the possible options that we have for events during the I&I so I'll chime in with my preferences/interests:

 

 

 

"Time frame: Since September seems to be the best time of the year for most TankNetters to attend an I&I, we suggest either the week from August 29th to September 4th, or from September 19th to 25th."

 

I don't know if I'll be able to manage it in addition to the I&I, but if we were to do it the first weekend in September this might make it possible for some of us to attend the Tank Days in the Czech Republic the week before. Tank Days is the weekend before right? On the off chance I'd be able to swing that as well I think my vote would be for that timeframe.

 

 

 

The following are of the most interest to me of the proffered events/attractions:

 

- Enroute to Potsdam is the Glienicke Bridge used for spy exchanges during the Cold War

 

- There also are the Soviet War Memorials in Tiergarten (includes a pair of T-34s!) and Treptower Park.

 

- Even further out is the former NVA wartime HQ at Kossa near Leipzig. For a group of at least ten, € 17.50 per person will get you the whole offer of tours, exhibits, an Erbsensuppe and a vodka. Includes a small vehicle collection, and they're announcing from this fall on they will have rides in what appears to be a BRDM and an MT-LB.

 

- The Berliner Unterwelten Association based near Flaktower Humboldthain offers guided tours of the city's WW II and Cold War underground history in various languages, including English. "I've done the air raid shelter system and the Flaktower tour, and it's well worth it. Unfortunately foreign language tours are only possible by prior arrangement and seem to come with a minimum price equal to 20 persons attending."

 

- The Luftwaffe Museum in Gatow is dedicated to the history of military aviation in Germany, with an emphasis on the Cold War era. Various aircraft, missile systems and other equipment displayed inside and out. Admittance is free.

 

- The Technical Museum Kummersdorf contains about a hundred military vehicles and AFVs, supposedly all runners. Accessible only by prior appointment, but just 30 kilometers South of Berlin.

 

I doubt I'd be able to afford the driving course but I'd happily pay the € 10 to ride as a passenger:

 

- "There's a 'Tank Driving School' in the middle of nowhere near Fürstenwalde, about one hour by rail from Berlin Central Station, that lets you drive their fleet of T-55T ARVs and BMP-1 - though at a rather steep price of € 136 for 45 minutes including safety instructions (passengers pay € 10)."

 

I was wondering about this one:

 

- Right next door is the Invalidenfriedhof that holds the tombs of sundry notable characters from German military history.

 

has anyone been? Is it cool?

 

 

Time permitting I might make a side trip to here if the group isn't interested:

 

The German-Russian Museum Karlshorst contains the room in which the German capitulation to the Soviet Union was signed. The collection contains mostly documents, with actual equipment apparently centered on military medicine. Admittance is free including guided tours for 10 to 30, also in English.

 

And of course I'd like to go to Panzermuseum Munster

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- Right next door is the Invalidenfriedhof that holds the tombs of sundry notable characters from German military history.

 

has anyone been? Is it cool?

 

Besides the tombstones with "Scharnhorst", "Schlieffen", "Witzleben", "Seeckt", "Udet" and "Mölders" on it (Helmuth von Moltke, Fritz Todt and Reinhardt Heydrich are also somewhere below there, but have no markers), the site is also interesting because of its location directly on the former wall. Only about half of the historical extent remains due to erasures during the DDR era. We have included this as as likely station on the first (decompression) day among other downtown sights anyway.

 

Your other favorites are also on the shortlist except for Kossa, which is quite a way from everything else; and we'll have to see if anybody has the intention to shell out the money for the tank driving school at all before we think about it (it would likely be on the same day as Kummersdorf and Seelower Höhen, which will include a lot of time on the road as it is).

 

Regarding the date, another member has PMed me with a politely worded iteration of "show some damn leadership, guys, we'll just have to follow you". :lol: I will confer with Dave who's currenly in the UK about where we're standing in two weeks, then we'll present preliminary day itineraries.

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Besides the tombstones with "Scharnhorst", "Schlieffen", "Witzleben", "Seeckt", "Udet" and "Mölders" on it (Helmuth von Moltke, Fritz Todt and Reinhardt Heydrich are also somewhere below there, but have no markers), the site is also interesting because of its location directly on the former wall. Only about half of the historical extent remains due to erasures during the DDR era. We have included this as as likely station on the first (decompression) day among other downtown sights anyway.

 

Your other favorites are also on the shortlist except for Kossa, which is quite a way from everything else; and we'll have to see if anybody has the intention to shell out the money for the tank driving school at all before we think about it (it would likely be on the same day as Kummersdorf and Seelower Höhen, which will include a lot of time on the road as it is).

 

Regarding the date, another member has PMed me with a politely worded iteration of "show some damn leadership, guys, we'll just have to follow you". :lol: I will confer with Dave who's currenly in the UK about where we're standing in two weeks, then we'll present preliminary day itineraries.

 

Sounds good!

Thanks to you both!

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Well, I'll be damned. I had no idea that 1. the guy is still alive and 2. resides in my boss' district. :blink:

 

Correction: It's the next district over, though barely so (his birthplace Zweibrücken is in ours). Anyway, it's on the French border, on the opposite side of the republic from Berlin.

 

That gotta be the only pharmacy in the world that features the technical data of the Tiger and a PDF of the "Tigerfibel" on its website. Says he still runs the business himself, too (insert joke about being a hard-hitting 88 here).

Edited by BansheeOne
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Well, I'll be damned. I had no idea that 1. the guy is still alive and 2. resides in my boss' district. :blink:

 

Correction: It's the next district over, though barely so (his birthplace Zweibrücken is in ours). Anyway, it's on the French border, on the opposite side of the republic from Berlin.

 

That gotta be the only pharmacy in the world that features the technical data of the Tiger and a PDF of the "Tigerfibel" on its website. Says he still runs the business himself, too (insert joke about being a hard-hitting 88 here).

 

Too bad it's so far away, I still think we should invite him out for drinks one of the nights at least. That is unless he wants to give us a personal tour of the Tiger at Munster?

;)

 

We might be surprised, he might rarely get people having a positive interest in his service and might be happy to come join us.

 

Good find Demosthenes!

Edited by irregularmedic
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We might be surprised, he might rarely get people having a positive interest in his service and might be happy to come join us.

 

Disclaimer: Never met the guy, haven't ever heard anything of his post-war life before, never even read "Tigers in the Mud" actually.

 

His publisher back in 1960 also did the memoirs of Guderian and others, as well as WW II division histories including one written by later Bavarian prime minister Franz-Josef Strauß. In 1991 they were merged with two other publishers with a similar record (Rudel etc.) by their then-common owner, a former vice president of the Rudolf Hess Association and the right-wing Society for Free Publishing, sentenced twice for publishing a Holocaust denial essay in one of his magazines and selling a "the Jews brought it upon themselves"-type book respectively. The company is still monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution due to offering cheerful titles like "The Planned War. Churchill's Conspiracy Against Germany", "Betrayed Traitors. The Guilt of the 'Resistance' for the Outbreak and Outcome of World War II" and "Conspiracy of the Warmongers 1914" by Léon Degrelle (if you want an earful about that guy, pass Ken Estes a bottle of wine and settle in for the night).

 

Now, for all I know Carius might be the nicest ex-Wehrmacht troop in the world whose only sin was publishing his recollections in a shop that turned out to be still stuck in WW II 50 years and several re-organisations later. However, the surprise we get might also be dining with an unreconstructed soldier of the Führer á la Rudel who's all to glad for any audience that volunteers. I'm aware that most contemporary Americans are pretty much painless about this sort of thing, and I surely don't want to play the historically hysterical German here. I'd just point out that we would have a pretty diverse group from all over Europe, and likely Israel too, even if they're all hardened TankNetters. If everybody's clear and has no problems about that, I wouldn't want to spoil the try either.

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We might be surprised, he might rarely get people having a positive interest in his service and might be happy to come join us.

 

 

A WWII vet being invited to Berlin to party with Tiger fans? All you'd need to dig up is some WWII Sherman crewmen and it'd be pure Youtube gold.

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Looks like it would turn into an offline version of the FFZ. With Nazis. I have a feeling you guys can't wait.

 

If we could get Carius into the museum to give us a Tiger walkaround pointing out all the nuances, that would be a once in a lifetime experience.

 

Hell, just having him sign a model kit* would be cool.

 

 

* - model kit in this case would be an Sherman Firefly. :D

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Okay, tell you what. Looks like I will be in that area in the near future, touring Bundeswehr bases with my boss ahead of the closure debate inevitable to come next year. I'll just drop into the place, buy some aspirin and see what I can gather.

 

grumble grumble libraries with M47s grumble grumble pharmacies with Tigers grumble grumble the places you go to for this grate sight grumble grumble

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't gotten down to the Tiger-Apotheke yet, but the planning cell met this week, and we have a preliminary plan.

 

We have decided to go with the earlier dates due to the possibilities of attending the Czech Tank Day on the previous weekend and the Kommandantenabend at Munster, as well as the proximity to German summer breaks. The scheduled timeframe therefore is Wednesday, August 31st to Sunday, September 4th 2011. We hope this still fits the plans of interested TankNetters for next year.

 

Proposed itinerary follows. Times are still largely approximations, and all is subject to change as we keep reconnoitering sites and tours; we also have a continued interest in folks expressing their particular favorites and nice-to-haves IOT assign priorities. However, we think we have a nice basic program.

 

 

Day 1: Decompression - Downtown Berlin sights (Wednesday 08/31)

 

1400 Leave hotel on foot after lunch

 

1415 Topography of Terror and adjacent Wall rudiment

 

1600 Walk by former Air Ministry, Hitler's bunker, Holocaust Memorial, British, Russian, French, US Embassy, Brandenburg Gate

 

1630 Tour Reichstag

 

1800 To Central Station by U 55

 

1830 Invalidenfriedhof, Litfin Memorial Watchtower

 

1930 Dinner at Zollpackhof vis-a-vis Chancellor's Office?

 

2100 Look at Victory Column, Tiergarten Soviet War Memorial on way to S-Bahn station Brandenburg Gate

 

2130 Potsdamer Platz

 

 

Day 2: Panzer Day - Munster (Thursday 09/01)

 

0900 Leave hotel by coach/vans

 

1200 Rheinmetall Unterlüß/Airlift Exhibition Fassberg?

 

Lunch where?

 

1400 Armor School

 

1600 Panzermuseum

 

1800 Kommandantenabend?

 

2100 Return to Berlin

 

 

Day 3: The Sound of Freedom - The West (Friday 09/02)

 

0900 Leave hotel by coach/vans

 

0930 Allied Museum Zehlendorf

 

1130 House of the Wannsee Conference

 

1300 Photo stop at Glienicke Bridge

 

1315 Cecilienhof (including lunch)

 

1500 Schloss Sanssouci - participants and possible wives/girlfriends not interested in aircraft can spend rest of afternoon at park, but might have to link up by rail

 

1600 Luftwaffe Museum Gatow

 

1830 British Cemetery on Heerstraße

 

1900 Dinner at Funkturm restaurant?

 

 

Day 4: Worker's Paradise - The East (Saturday 09/03)

 

0900 Leave hotel by coach/vans

 

0915 Stasi Headquarters

 

1130 Stasi Prison Hohenschönhausen

 

Lunch where?

 

1400 German-Russian Museum Karlshorst

 

1500 Soviet War Memorial Treptower Park

 

1600 Flaktower Unterwelten tour

 

1800 Mauerpark on Bernauer Straße

 

1930 Dinner at Fernsehturm Restaurant?

 

 

Day 5: World War Two - The Hinterland (Sunday 09/04)

 

0900 Leave hotel by coach/vans

 

0915 Bendlerblock with German Resistance Memorial Center, Bundeswehr Memorial

 

1030 Photo stop at Tempelhof Airport/Airlift Memorial

 

1130 Vehicle Collection Kummersdorf

 

1300 Technical Museum Kummersdorf

 

Lunch where?

 

1600 Seelower Höhen

 

 

Be advised we will need the following supplied by all participants at least four weeks prior to accessing any government or military installation, including the Reichstag:

 

- Full name

- Date and place of birth

- Passport or ID card number

- Have respective document on you for the visit.

 

Shopping opportunities/alternative sights for possible wives/girlfriends along for the trip, but not the program:

 

- Unter den Linden

- Kurfürstendamm

- Kaufhaus des Westens

- Arkaden am Potsdamer Platz/Sony Center

- Galeria Kaufhof/Alexa Mall on Alexanderplatz

- Museumsinsel (five historical museums including the Pergamon Altar and the famous Nofretete bust; single day pass for all of them available)

- Guided city tour by bus or Spree river boat; wide choice of offers at any time.

 

We will inspect hotels next and issue directions on where and how to book within the next few weeks.

Edited by BansheeOne
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

QUARTERING NOTICE

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

after due consideration of location, prices and accommodation standards, the Berlin I&I planning cell has settled on a recommendation for quarters. We took the somewhat unusual step of selecting not one, but two hotels; however, they are located side by side, run by the same group and represent their high- and mid-range respectively offering a single category of rooms each, so should really be viewed as one house with separate front desks. They are surely less spread-out than the wings of the Doubletree Inn in Seattle overall, are in close proximity to the bars, restaurants, shops, theaters etc. at Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstraße and within walking range of the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and other downtown sights. They are:

 

The Suite Novotel Berlin Potsdamer Platz

Anhalter Strasse 2

10963 BERLIN, GERMANY

Hotel code : 3745

Tel : (+49)30/200560

Fax : (+49)30/20056200

E-mail : H3745@accor.com

GPS : N 52° 30' 16.63'' E 13° 22' 59.62''

 

http://www.suitehotel.com/gb/hotel-3745-suite-novotel-berlin-potsdamer-platz/index.shtml

 

This is the high-end house, offering nice 30 square meter suites with a double bed, additional sleeping couch, kitchenette and an inclusive media/comms package. I test-booked online right now and got quoted a best price of € 681.38 for the six nights from August 30th to September 5th.

 

Hotel Ibis Berlin Potsdamer Platz

Anhalter Strasse 4

10963 BERLIN, GERMANY

Tel. : (+49)30/261050

Fax. : (+49)30/26105222

GPS : N 52° 30' 16.65'' E 13° 22' 59.46''

 

http://www.ibishotel.com/gb/hotel-3752-ibis-berlin-potsdamer-platz/index.shtml

 

This is a solid middle-class hotel offering rooms with single or double beds. Test-booking currently shows a price of € 439.87 for the same six nights.

 

To book either of the above,

 

- book online under the links given,

 

- contact directly by phone, fax or e-mail as indicated above

 

- or call the Accor Group reservation center nearest to you:

 

* Austria 013602772001

* Belgium F 026435002

* Belgium NL 026435000

* Denmark 80018595 Tollfree

* Finland (09)81710143

* France 0825886666 (0,150€ TTC/min)

* Germany 06995307588

* Italy 199129999

* The Netherlands (020)6545730

* Portugal (21)3180049

* Spain 902100463

* Sweden 020793153 Tollfree

* Switzerland F 0225675310

* Switzerland D 0225675311

* Switzerland IT 0225675127

* United Kingdom/Ireland 0871663062

* USA/Canada 18002214542 Tollfree

 

ATTENTION

 

Due to the experience of the tedious runup to the Seattle I&I and the hotels being quite affordable if booked early, we forewent agreeing on a group rate; hotels were also very reluctant of blocking rooms for an as-yet unspecified number of participants since the August 30 to September 5 timeframe happens to coincide with the International Broadcasting Exhibition in Berlin (our originally suggested later date wouldn't have been any better either, since we would have competed with the visit of the Pope in late September).

 

Therefore the same mechanisms apply as in airfare: Book now while prices are low; you can always cancel later if necessary. Close to the actual event, accommodation will be sparse and prices exorbitant not just in our hotels, but all through the city. The low-end house we originally included in our plans is already booked solid for some of those days as of today (but it would have been a mere step removed from a backpacker hostel anyway). Please confirm here with your arrival and leaving dates once you're booked.

 

For those turning up absolutely broke, the local TN cell is currently offering three private sleeping spaces for individuals or couples, of which two are already tentatively filled with prospective participants. Our list currently shows six members with a fairly definite commitment to attend (of which two are locals and one has indicated he will bring some family along) and 14 maybes. Please confirm your plans as soon as possible to you, including any spouses etc. which will have to be factored in, as we are now entering a critical phase in the process. We would also like to remind to PM either me or Dave Clark with

 

- full name

 

- date and place of birth

 

- passport or ID card number

 

for anybody in your party who wants to access the government and military installations on our list, including the Reichstag.

 

We will tackle the transportation issue next. We have discarded the idea of renting a coach with driver as too expensive and gone back to the multiple van route, especially as one participant has already announced he will rent one of his own. We will also run local recce for our intended day tours in the coming months to fine-tune the itinerary. Again, to help with the planning process, please report your intentions ASAP.

Edited by BansheeOne
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I'll be there, but I can't stay for the entire duration. I either have to cut two days at the beginning or at the end, potentially even in the middle, depending a bit on the itinerary. What's the plan for the days, when will we visit what?

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See updated post #70 for current plan. As you're from Hannover, you could join us on the Munster trip on day two (Thursday, September 1st).

 

Since you offered to arrange for a visit at Unterlüß, would you query your contacts at Rheinmetall about that date?

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