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Berlin trip offers insight into Nazi and Cold War history

Fourth Year pupils pose for a photo during their History trip to Berlin

At the end of May, 44 Fourth Year historians spent time exploring Berlin, with a focus on the IGCSE course; Weimar, Nazi and Cold War history.

Having arrived mid-morning Thursday, the group immediately took the U-Bahn to the city centre and enjoyed a guided tour of many famous landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial and the site where Hitler’s Bunker once existed.

The following day the group spent a very busy day visiting the Topography of Terror Museum, Checkpoint Charlie, the university square where the Nazis burnt books in 1933, the DDR Museum and the Berlin Wall Memorial.

The pupils then split into two groups for an underground experience. One group focussed on the Nazi World War Two period, and the other on the Cold War.

On the Saturday, the travellers took a coach to the Wannsee Conference House where, in January 1942, high ranking SS Officers made the decision to implement what became the Final Solution.

The historians then visited Platform 17 – the site where Berlin’s Jews were deported from as they were sent in huge numbers to the East.

Later in the afternoon the Fourth Years visited Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp where the guides spoke about how minorities were transported and the conditions they had to endure, as well as showing the group a gas chamber and crematorium.

The pupils were superbly behaved; respectful, interested and humbled by what they were hearing and experienced.

To mark the last evening of the trip, they headed to the busy hub of Alexanderplatz before having some dinner at their accommodation.