A group of twelve Sixth Form German pupils travelled to Berlin for a long weekend of historical and cultural discovery.
A-level students study the Cold War period with a particular focus on life in the former East Germany (DDR) and this trip gave pupils the opportunity to see at first hand important monuments and buildings from the time – as well as experiencing a little of what life was like for ordinary people.
The trip began with a visit to the Story of Berlin – an interactive attraction which explained the history of such a fascinating city – before focussing on East Germany after WWII.
A visit to the famous DDR museum was a great success as pupils went on a guided tour (in German, as all the tours were) and were able to try on clothes from the period, sit in a mock-up living room and drive a Trabant car.
Following this, the troop made their way to the Stasi Museum, where they learned about the state secret police and walked through the offices of the Head of Operations. A day was spent looking at the impact of the Berlin Wall; starting off at Checkpoint Charlie, before moving on to the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears) where families split by the wall said their goodbyes. To round it off the group visited the East Side Gallery, a remaining section of the wall now covered in poignant graffiti.
It was a very busy few days, but the pupils learnt a lot about the history of the period and got to practise their German. As a treat, the travellers spent the last evening at the cinema watching a German film.
Before returning to the airport the pupils went up the TV tower for panoramic views of the city (which was slightly obscured by fog!) and spent time in the Ritter Schokowelt chocolate emporium.
It was an excellent trip enjoyed by all and thanks must go to Miss Gibson for organising and to Frau Christmann and Rémi Sonnet for accompanying the pupils.