Historian/journalist and best-selling author Ted Barris has just returned from a scouting trip of WWII and Cold War locations in Eastern Europe with special historical significance to Canadians. In the spring of 2011, for the first time, he will lead Merit travellers to rarely seen wartime locations while weaving together the tour with his unique brand of storytelling.

Space is limited for this once-in-a lifetime experience.


Krakow, Poland; two nights. The stop will include a visit to Auschwitz/Birkenau, the two former death camps the world has come to know as symbols of state terrorism, genocide and the Holocaust. But, the tour also takes us to No. 4 Lipowa Street, where Oskar Schindler (of the Steven Spielberg film Schindlers List) saved thousands of Jews by employing them in his enamelware factory (now the Historical Museum of Krakow).

Prague, Czech Republic; three nights. An oasis in our wartime exploration, Prague, "City of a Hundred Spires," provides the travellers with an uplifting visit to one of the great cultural destinations of Europe. Our stop includes visits to the Charles Bridge, the Prague Castle, Wallenstein Garden, Astronomical Clock, Kafka Museum, as well as a music/dinner cruise on the Moldau River.

Dresden, Germany; two nights. Among the most devastated locations during WWII, Dresden will show our tour the nature of remembrance and restoration as we explore the remarkable story of the rebuilding of the Frauenkirke church at Dresdens spiritual and urban centre.

Berlin, Germany; five nights. A Mecca for both history buffs and culture lovers, Berlin offers travellers a look at one of the cosmopolitan centres of Europe. Tour stops illustrate a city that is steeped in its stormy past (former Gestapo headquarters, Wannsee and Potsdam meeting centres, Commonwealth cemetery, etc.), but vibrant in its sense of the future (the restored Reichstag).

Other highlights include Cold War locations, such as the Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Airlift memorial. A highlight excursion from Berlin, includes a visit to Stalag Luft III home of the extraordinary Great Escape.

Ted Barris
Ted Barris is an accomplished author and broadcaster. As well as hosting stints on CBC Radio and TV Ontario, he regularly contributes to the Globe and Mail and National Post, and various national magazines. Barris has authored 15 non-fiction books, including bestsellers Juno: Canadians at D-Day; Days Of Victory and Victory at Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917. His 16th book Breaking the Silence: Veterans’ Untold Stories from the Great War to Afghanistan was published in October 2009. Barris is also a full-time professor of journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College.
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