The theme for our final day has been East vs West. Students toured the DDR museum and enjoyed the interactive exhibits demonstrating everyday life in East Germany. Driving a Trabant was a definite hit as was both the East Berlin appartment and the 80s fashions!
This was followed by a walk around some of the historical sites of East Berlin, including the location of Nazi book burnings, Berlin’s war memorial and reconstructed royal palace.
After a shopping stop, the group travelled West for our final visit - The Kaiser Wilhelm Church. This broken building is a lasting reminder of the 20th Century destruction of Berlin.
This has proved to be a very thought provoking and inspirational visit for all. Oldbury Wells students have conducted themselves extremely well and have been a pleasure to spend time with over the last few days. Well done team!
Berlin History Visit 2019 Day 3
The theme for today’s sites is ‘Resisting Dictatorships’. Students travelled out of the city to tour Sachsenhausen concentration camp designed by the Nazis as an ‘ideal’ example of a work camp, intended to remove all minorities and opponents from the Third Reich. Following the war the site was reopened as an internment camp for opponents of Communisim. Our tour guides showed us around key features of the site including the gas chambers and hospital block. A very thought provoking visit that inspired a range of responses. This afternoon the focus shifted to the use of propaganda in Nazi Germany with a visit to the site of the 1936 Berlin Olympics and a view from above, up the stadium’s bell tower. Our last evening in Berlin was rounded off by a visit up the East German TV Tower and some of the highest views in Europe.
Berlin History Visit 2019 Day 2
Today we began with a visit to the roof of the Reichstag. Students considered the importance of this iconic building in the rise to power of Hitler, as well as the role of democracy today. Next up was a walking tour, following the route that the wall took. A real standout experience was the visit to the Holocaust memorial and the personal stories contained within. Other sites today that inspired discussion and debate were the Soviet War Memorial, the site of Hitler’s bunker and world famous Checkpoint Charlie.
Berlin History Visit 2019 Day 1
Today OWS History students left a rainy Shropshire in the early hours of the morning to embark on an 4 day study visit to Germany. Our flight from Manchester went smoothly and undaunted by the incredible heat we threw ourselves into our first site - The Jewish Museum. The thought and intelligence with which our students analysed the memorial spaces to those who died in the Holocaust was a joy to witness. This evening as temperatures cooled slightly, we walked the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall and considered the message of hope following division, that many of the street art pieces typified. Next stop tomorrow a visit to the iconic symbols of Historic Berlin - The Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.