On the 1st April 2023, 42 students from years 11-13 accompanied by 4 staff (Mrs Ellis, Mrs Letissier, Mr A Wilson and Mr T Wilson) flew to Berlin as part of a History visit. The trip focused on both the history of Nazi Germany as well as the Cold War, both of which are taught at GCSE.
Following a 2 hour flight, we landed in Berlin and made our way via coach to the City Lights Hotel, which was our base for the next 4 days. The following day, we enjoyed a guided tour around the Olympic Stadium which hosted the 1936 Olympic Games during the Nazi era and is also the home of Hertha Berlin Football team today. Later we had a moving tour around Sachsenhausen Concentration camp, where many of the opponents of the Nazi regime were detained as political prisoners.
Over the next two days we used public transport to navigate our way around Berlin, visiting a range of museums such as the Topography of Terror Museum, the Stasi Museum and the DDR Museum. We also explored the remnants of the iconic Berlin Wall including the East Side Gallery, which is the longest continuous stretch of the wall, with a range of artistic work. We also saw Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall memorial.
During our visit, we explored Berlin on a guided walking tour. We paused to reflect at places such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and at the Book Burning Memorial (where Hitler ordered the burning of 20,000 books of ‘un-German’ writers such as the works of Albert Einstein).
Students had the opportunity to visit the Reichstag (Germany’s parliament building) where we had some fantastic views of the city from the rooftop terrace). We also enjoyed some free shopping time around Alexanderplatz and on our last night we had a meal at the Hard Rock Café, which was a lovely way to end our trip to Berlin.
The weather was cold but dry but the students kept themselves warm by buying pretzels and Russian style fur hats!
The trip was a fantastic experience and we felt that we thoroughly explored Berlin’s rich history.
Comments from students
“We found the experience extremely eye-opening and fascinating. It aided our historical knowledge. We really enjoyed our time at the Olympic Stadium and the Reichstag which were both beautiful” (Olivia Bennion, Eliana Dickinson and Sadie Robinson)
“I really enjoyed the contrast of everyday, learning moving new history while also having fun” (Pawel Golusinski)
“Ich Bin ein Berliner” (Jacob Mustieles)