Twenty eight very tired but very excited year 12 history students met outside school at 3am on Monday 2nd July ready to make the journey to Berlin. As part of their A2 studies these students will be focussing on the Holocaust and International Relations 1945-2004. Berlin is the perfect city to visit some of the sites that shaped these two dramatic periods in history.
Although it was only a three day trip we managed to pack plenty in, with visits to the Topography of Terror, the House of the Wannsee Conference, the Reichstag building, Checkpoint Charlie, the East Side Gallery and even a Cold War nuclear bunker. One of the most poignant visits was to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp; here students were able to see one of the sites that bore witness to the sheer brutality and prejudices of the Nazi regime. As history students, but also as young adults, the students were deeply moved by this experience and found it incredibly valuable.
There was also time for students to soak up and experience some German culture as well, although only a few were tempted to try a Curry Wurst! By the end of the trip the students were buzzing with enthusiasm for their history studies, and for this small taster of German life and culture.
Nicola Reynolds, who attended the trip, writes..
The year 12 trip to Berlin was the best school trip I have ever attended. For three days we travelled around Berlin on public transport visiting museums and historical sites that all played a role in either the Cold War or the Holocaust. From the House of the Wannsee Conference, where the Final Solution was planned, to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp where these policies were carried out, we were able to see many aspects of the Holocaust.
We also visited the East Side Gallery; this is the largest remaining part of the Berlin Wall and is now decorated with murals by artists from around the world. Other places visited include Checkpoint Charlie, the Topography of Terror and the Reichstag. The trip was highly educational but in the evening on the last night we walked to a local bowling alley, while most people bowled those who didn’t amused themselves with pool, arcade games and laughing at those who couldn’t bowl! I would recommend any year 12 who is offered this trip to attend as not only does it put the course into context but it also is just interesting to visit Berlin and see where these events actually took place.