My name is Forrest Holmes and I was born in New Mexico, USA. I’ve lived, studied and worked in Europe for thirteen years. I’ve worked as a tour guide in Berlin for more than five of those years and am also affiliated with the Freie Universität Berlin as a doctoral candidate. I hold a MA in German History from the University of Cardiff.
Since visiting Berlin for the first time on a research trip (already a shocking nine years ago!), I’ve married a native and settled down in the German capital.
This is a city of culture. Over the years, I’ve delved into the museums, concert halls, art galleries, theaters, bars, bookstores, cabarets, cinemas, and cafes, from the obscure to the world-renowned, from the pretentious to the bohemian, that are Berlin’s assets and calling cards, and I’ve savored the international color and the diversity the city boasts. This is also a city of history: rich, complex, dark, looming, echoing with creativity and inspiration, and issuing a clear and dire warning for the ages. I’ve immersed myself continuously in this history, which could never be exhausted as a subject of fascination. There are so many resources in Berlin for the historian, and these extend beyond books and archives and memorials: I’ve not only had the valuable opportunity to listen to the stories of Berliners themselves, many of them my own in-laws and friends, but, as a tour guide, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to share my interest, my journey of discovery, with others—so many of whom have their own Berlin stories to tell—and to use the city itself as my ‘office’ and backdrop. And now I am a part of this city’s story; I’ve watched as Berlin has transformed itself profoundly over even the short time I’ve lived here, and am sure that it will continue to reinvent itself well into the future.
The best time to visit Berlin is now!
I offer tours in both English and German and guide primarily in the Berlin area (including Potsdam and the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial), though I am developing itineraries further afield and welcome special requests. My tours examine Berlin’s urban history and the history of Germany as seen through the lens of its capital city. Often my tours deal with specific themes, such as the period of the Nazi regime and the Second World War (1933-1945), Berlin’s Jewish history, the Cold War and the years of division (1949-1990), art, architecture, or aspects of Berlin today.
I look forward to showing you around my adoptive home.
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