A group of 45 Year 9 and 10 students set off for Berlin and Krakow accompanied by Mr Morrissey, Mrs Sutton, Mr Procter and Dr Hunt in February. Students walked in the footsteps of famous names in history such as Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill, visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where students got a glimpse into the miserable conditions of prisoners kept there by the Nazis, the DDR museum, Wannsee Villa, site of the conference deciding the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, the DDR museum, The Palace of Tears border crossing at Friedrichstrasse, Checkpoint Charlie and the Wall Museum, the SS/Gestapo HQ at The Topography of Terror as well as the shopping centre at Potsdamer Platz where students saw the more modern side of Berlin and Mr Procter tried his first ever Currywurst.
One of the highlights of the Berlin leg of the tour was the visit to the enormous Berliner Olympiastadion. The final evening in Berlin included a quick stop at the “East Side Gallery”. This is a 2km still-standing section of the Berlin Wall that contains well-known graffiti and artwork along the whole stretch. Most of the artwork is political in nature, but this doesn’t stop it being very impressive.
The next stop was the beautiful city of Krakow in Poland. Once again, we saw an enormous amount of the city and our very friendly, knowledgeable guides took us to places such as Wawel Hill, the castle, Kazimierz Jewish district and Podgorze where we sampled Zapiekanki for lunch. In Kazimierz, we saw some of Europe’s oldest synagogues and memorials to the 65000 Jews from the city murdered by the Nazis. We saw several film locations from the film Schindler’s List and visited the factory in Podgorze . The most poignant part of the visit for many was the visit to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz/Birkenau.