The John Fisher School

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Yr 11 half term History trip to Berlin

20 Feb 2017

The Berlin trip is a very busy four days. Thirty two Year 11 students came on the trip this year. It  supports the units we cover on Weimar and Nazi Germany and on the Cold War. We met at the school at 4am on Friday morning and arrived in Berlin, dropped off our bags and began our exploration of the city. A three hour walking tour took in some of the key sites; including sections of the Berlin Wall, Hitlers bunker, the Brandenburg Gate, the site of the Nazi book burnings and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. The following day we had a guided tour of the Stasi Prison where we learnt about methods of control used by the authorities in the GDR. This was followed by a guided tour of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Here we learnt about the brutality of the SS and the plight of those who either opposed the Nazi regime or did not fit with their warped view of an Aryan race. Sunday we began with a period of prayer and reflection at the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. It was particularly significant considering our experiences the previous day. Mrs Furlong led the reflection and spoke with the students about how escalating intolerance can lead to escalating violence. The Eternal Rest was said for the people killed in the Christmas massacre there. We then visited the Museum at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. This focused on the personal stories of Jewish families who were murdered by the Nazis. In the afternoon we visited the Allied Museum which told the story of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift. The students were even given a tour of a Hastings aeroplane used in the airlift. In the evening we went up the TV tower; the tallest building in Europe. Monday began with a guided tour of the Olympic stadium used in the 1936 Olympics. Our final Museum was the Topography of Terror which looked at the methods of control used by the Nazis. It was a late night - In fact Miss Smith is currently writing this at Berlin Airport waiting for a delayed flight back to Gatwick! Many thanks to Mr Dawkins, Miss Hall and Mrs Furlong for coming on the trip and to Mr Fell for setting it all up and most importantly to the Year 11 students who made the trip very enjoyable for the staff involved. 


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Yr 11 half term History trip to Berlin