A group of GCSE Historians recently made a three day visit to Berlin, taking in the many historical and cultural sites. On the first day students visited several famous sites such as the Brandenburg Tor, and then spent some time learning and reflecting on the persecution and terror suffered by many under the Nazi dictatorship at the Holocaust Memorial centre and the Topography of Terror.
The second day saw the group visit the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, now a memorial site, which was chosen as the most memorable and thought-provoking part of the trip for many of the students. After lunch students visited the Story of Berlin Museum, to see how Berlin has changed over its long and fascinating history. The visit was completed with a tour of a nuclear bunker which still survives from the cold war. Students grappled with the difficulties of surviving in this bunker and whether or not they thought it would be possible. During the evening students had the opportunity to go to the glass dome on top of the Bundestag building, which offers incredible views all over Berlin by night. On the final day, students travelled to the Hohenschönhausen Memorial in the former site of a Stasi Prison which operated during the days of the DDR. Students were able to walk through the old cells and interrogation rooms of the prison and learn what life was like for prisoners in this secret prison.
Later on, students took in the views of Berlin again but this time at the top of the TV Tower to see what Berlin looks like from above during the day. Overall the students greatly enjoyed the trip and the opportunity to visit the sites where the history they study in the classroom actually took place.