In February this year a group of our students went on an educational visit to Berlin, Lucy Crabtree has kindly written an account of her trip.
Berlin February 2015 – Lucy Crabtree 9G
For the trip, organised by the History department, a group of 23 students from Years 9, 10 and 11 went to Berlin. During this trip we viewed many historically significant places including the memorial for the Holocaust, Soviet soldiers and for both Jewish children that escaped the
Holocaust and those who did not. Whilst at these memorials, we were informed of context and background in depth, ranging from who built the memorials, to Hitler’s future plans and the consequences of those who stood against them. Diverging from the historical aspect of this trip, Berlin despite the bombings during WW2, is also a beautiful city that is alive with culture, that thanks to this trip we got to experience. We visited lots of places including the Victory Tower. Although this may not seem that important in the context of the visit, we learnt from the tour guide how much influence Hitler had had and showed us his perspective on how the war was going to turn out, which is again fantastic extra background information, that we most likely would not have learnt in class. However, the heart of Berlin was a great contrast to Sachenhausen concentration camp. Not only was it bleak and eerie, as well as desolate, it was also extremely informative regarding the atrocities the Nazis had committed. Although in a class you can learn the same facts, dates and names, actually visiting the camp and seeing and experiencing the surroundings rather than imagining them, makes it easier to relate the context to in future lessons regarding the conditions in which the victims of the Holocaust had to live in. In addition, from the museum-like setup in one of the barracks, we learnt a lot of small details like daily routine and punishment from primary sources such as letters and accounts. The visit to the concentration camp was both very moving and quite sickening, however I feel that it is important for our generation to gain as much of an understanding as possible as to the suffering and sacrifice people made to try and ensure that it may never happen again.
By Lucy Crabtree