Amery Hill School's Visit to BerlinPosted on: April 22nd 2016
Amery Hill School's GCSE History students replaced their text books with a trip to Berlin over the Easter weekend. Head Girl, Sarah Williamson, described the trip as “so interesting” and clearly valued the chance to see “all aspects of Berlin from the museums on the Holocaust and the Cold War to commemorative art installations and smaller museums focused on individual survival stories”.
The students visited many of the key sights in Berlin, including the Reichstag, the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and the Check Point Charlie Museum where students were able to learn about the Berlin Wall and various and sometimes ingenious methods people used to escape from East Berlin. For student Francesco Tesolin, his personal highlight was to see the Berlin Wall and the Brandenbug Gate. The sombre mood from the excursion to Sachsenhausen lifted as the group crossed the Glienicke Brucke bridge for lunch in Potsdam, made famous in the recent film ‘Bridge of Spies’ featuring Tom Hanks.
The Jewish Museum, which tells the story of the Jews from their arrival in the middle ages to the present day, was also on the itinerary. “In my opinion, this was the hardest hitting museum we visited,” student Lizzie Bull commented. “It wasn’t a stereotypical museum where we got to look at items through glass screens, but put us in uncomfortable thought-provoking situations. One of them was a long thin room that was lit only by very high sky lights. We were meant to walk the length of the chasm-like room, but on the floor were hundreds of jagged faces cut out from industrial metal. Each step would create a loud clanking sound that would echo around, breaking the silence. It was very surreal.”
On their last day students visited the Blindwerkstaff museum which is a tribute to Berlin’s Oscar Schindler, who protected people with disabilities and Jews in Nazi Germany. The final stop was Gendarmenmarkt to visit Fassbender and Rausch, probably one of the best chocolate shops in the world. A fitting end to a school trip over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend!