History Trip to Berlin, February 2019

Formidable buildings, softened by February’s blue skies, provided the backdrop for the History Department’s trip to Berlin, blending together the periods of Nazi and Soviet rule in the city and combining the content of our GCSE and A level courses.

In a whirlwind five days, we saw the best of Berlin, from the Soviet Radio Tower, giving unrivalled views of the city, to the vibrant East Side Gallery. Walking through the city, history permeated every street in the fantastic monuments of the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Reichstag, and the subtler points, like the car park built over Hitler’s bunker. These sites were brought to life by the brilliant stories of our tour guides; statistics were foregone in favour of anecdotes, humanising the experiences which it is easy to feel so distant from.

This vivid recollection of life in 20th century Germany was particularly sobering on our visits to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and a Stasi prison. For many girls, going to these places and being told about the atrocities which took place by tour guides who remembered or even experienced them was the most moving and important part of the trip.

Huge thanks must go to Dr Tullis, Mr George, and the History Department for organising and accompanying us on this unforgettable trip which brought the events of the past to the forefront of our minds in such a memorable and engaging manner.

(Olivia, UVI)