Berlin History Trip March 2018
Year 10 and 11 GCSE History students braved blizzard like conditions to visit Berlin and explore the city that compromises a large part of their modules. Students visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Wannsee, The Olympic Stadium, the Gestapo Headquarters and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe to further their understanding of the years 1933-1945 in Germany.
Furthermore students were able to visit underground bunkers and the Berlin Wall to develop assist with the wider context of their Superpowers module. The city itself offers unique insights into the Second World War and Cold War with sites such as the underground nuclear bunkers and Holocaust Memorial presenting a reminder of the atrocities and effects on civilian life.
“The 2018 Manshead trip to Berlin was an amazing and educational experience. The city was full of life and spectacular monuments that enhanced the excitement and interest I had felt before entering the city. We visited such places as the Berlin TV tower, the Olympic Stadium, the Brandenburg Gate; fragments of what still remains of the Berlin Wall (which were covered in fantastic works of art from the days of the Cold War and the present day both political satire and freedom of speech) and famous places the former Third Reich had meddled with. However the most interesting place we visited was the Sachsenhausen concentration camp which was organised to hold political prisoners from 1936-45, the mood and atmosphere from what still remains of the camp felt too quiet and peaceful for what was a horrible and evil place. The tour guides were so helpful to develop my understanding of what the Nazis really did to human beings in their vision of the perfect world. All around the museum there were quotes and books from survivors that really touched my emotions and opened my eye to what had happened to the people in that place.
Over all the expedition was an enjoyable and informative journey which increased my knowledge of the history behind Berlin and the important events that went with them. It was also a good way to socialise with new people and see great things; memories I will keep with me forever.”
Freddy W (Year 10)
“The trip was great just a chill couple of days having a good time and learning key further bits of context that I think I can really apply to GSCE and beyond things like the consistent oppression faced by Prussians and Germans over the years and the working class nature and origin of Berlin. I found it interesting to walk around and just to see the city, it echoes a sort of 1980’s London vibe like a city lost in time. I have to say one of the most interesting and surreal moments was visiting the concentration camp you can’t quite click in your head until that being there that these horrible things actually happened I think it’s pretty important that anyone who studies Nazi Germany should visit a camp to remember and mourn. Overall great trip loved it and would go again.”
Stan T (Year 10)
“I really enjoyed experiencing Berlin and learning about all the history that helped to shape the city’s character. My favourite part of the trip was going up the television tower and seeing the landscape by night. Also, I enjoyed learning about the history of the Wannsee conference centre at which the Nazis discussed the final solution. The trip helped to put both our Nazi Germany and Cold War modules into a wider context because it gave a chance to explore the events of the past through the remaining sites and sources for ourselves. Witnessing all of Berlin’s history was an amazing experience that made all that I have learned in class seem more real.”
Hannah N (Year 11)