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National Socialism Documentation Center in Cologne

I will be in Cologne for two days in June and would want to know if any of you have been to this museum. Trip advisor gave this historic site rave reviews but Rick Steves never mentioned this place in his Germany tour book. I checked Lonely Plant and they are also mum about this.

Is this place worth going? Is this worth my time?


Posted by
7055 posts

If you are a WWII history buff, you'll want to see this. But it's (in my opinion) primarily part of Germany's excellent effort to provide educational outings for high school students. The exhibits are good, with lots of photos, and some special exhibits from time to time. But I wouldn't say it's a must see, like most Concentration Camps.
Contrary to the previous poster, I've been to Cologne twice, for three days each, and I still haven't seen it all. This is a great city, with lots to see. (I'll never bother with the Chocolate Museum and the Cologne (scent) Store/Museum) Be ready to put in a full day. For example, better than the NSDC is the self-guided, ancient Jewish mikvah (ritual bath) near city hall. You leave your Passport as security, at a nearby big attraction, and they give you the key. (At least the two times I was in town.) This is a great city to visit. Consider the Museum Card instead of the card they push at the TI, if you like museums.

Posted by
14444 posts


The silence on this place in Cologne which you finding in the travel books is that it's an esoteric place. If you have the time within the 2 days, I would suggest seeing it. There is also a documentation center in nearby Düsseldorf. I don't consult with Trip Advisor, esp on such historical "stuff."

That in Köln will feature (I'm guessing here since I haven't seen it either) the role of Adenauer when he was Oberbürgermeister (High Mayor) of the city and the way he resisted Nazi pressure and got away with it.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks for all your feedback. Much appreicated. I am interested in WWII so will plan to visit. My two days in Koln technically means one afternoon, staying that night, and then leaving for Berlin the next day in the early afternoon. I will have time for this after I visit the cathedral.

Posted by
19244 posts

Stop in to Papa Joe's Biersalon in the Altstadt. Or take a stroll on the Hohenzollern Bridge. It's the railway bridge over the Rhine leading into the station. Walkway is right next to the cathedral.