Berlin TripWednesday 16 November 2022 | By Megan Connor
Very early on Saturday 15 October, 30 THS students and four members of staff headed off to Manchester Airport for a joint History and German visit to Berlin.
After a wonderful flight and an exciting first trip on the U-bahn, they arrived exhausted at the Hotel Acama in the Kreuzberg area of the German capital.
Whilst in Berlin, students visited a wealth of historical sites, learning not only about World War 2 but also the Cold War and life after the “Wende” in 1989. They were able to see first hand where history happened and Mr. Meyerhoff recounted the various events that happened in those locations.
First on the agenda was a visit to the Bundestag (German parliament) and a quick lesson on the dative case from Frau Butterfield followed by learning about the Reichstag fire and the role of this historic building in the rise of National Socialist. They then moved onto the Brandenburg Gate, a respectful visit to the Holocaust memorial and down Unter den Linden to enjoy some retail therapy in the Ampelmann Shop. Frau Butterfield found the earrings that she had longed for for years!
After lunch we moved onto Bernauer Strasse for a look at life during the Cold War and events on and around the Berlin Wall. It was fascinating to see where East Berliner’s had attempted to escape to the West by digging tunnels. They were then able to enjoy a trip to the Berolina Bowling Lounge for an evening of strikes and spares. The second day in Berlin began with a visit to the Topography of Terror to learn of the rise of National Socialism and its effects on Germany. We also saw the longest in-tact section of the Berlin Wall. Moving on they visited Checkpoint Charlie and enjoyed seeing Berlin from above with a visit to the famous Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at Alexanderplatz. The day continued with a visit to the Eastside Gallery, where sections of The Wall have been put together and graffiti artists from around the world have been invited to display their work. Students particularly enjoyed the famous Honecker / Brezhnev mural and the Trabi coming through the wall. In the evening students visited the dome and terrace of the Bundestag which was amazing.
The final day was a little damp to begin with however, spirits remained high as the group took the U-bahn out to the Olympic Stadium and found out about how Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games to further the cause of the National Social Party. They also learned about the role the stadium plays nowadays in major international sporting events and as a music venue. Students topped the day off with some retail therapy at the Mall of Berlin, while staff enjoyed the biggest donuts they had even seen! It was wonderful to see the return of visits abroad and how they can really make language and History come alive!