Being on tour, exploring Berlin with friends, learning of this beautiful capital city’s rich and varied past, can’t help but leave a long-lasting impression on a young person’s mind.
Seeing students explore the various sites where the catastrophic events of our past took place, witnessing their silent contemplation you can’t help but acknowledge that history is truly being brought to life.
We asked the students of The Holy Cross School to share their recent Berlin tour experience…
Step into their story…
Berlin – What had the biggest impact on you and why?
“ Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen – It almost didn’t feel real and was fascinating to see the layout and where various things took place ie, gas chamber, barracks. When we visited it was really hot and it was hard to imagine how the prisoners could cope with 400 to a barrack in the heat.”
“The Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. It felt so much more real listening to the stories of those who lived through a concentration camp. Seeing letters and pictures of the people also had a deep impact on us all.”
How would you describe the whole experience of being on tour in Berlin?
“Being able to travel and explore new places with friends, the tour provided a way to feel more closely connected and immersed in the subject we’re studying…”
The tour of Berlin was beneficial to my studies, because I saw in person the reality of what I had been learning about. A nice break from school but still filled with educational experiences.”
It was interesting, it meant a lot to see and learn where the events actually took place and it really helped visualise what Germany was like and what the German people experienced.”
Why should schools go on trips like this?
“Because you just don’t get the same emotional level of understanding from a textbook compared to actually viewing and experiencing the locations.”
“It allows students to physically see the environment and realness of the subjects they’re studying, making it easier to learn the information as well as giving hardworking students a few days off to explore a new country!”
“I think it helps you remember, further reinforcing the information. I also think that you can learn a lot more from the places themselves than you can over the internet or in a textbook”
“Schools should go on trips like these to fully understand the history of the places and topics that they are learning about.”
“Trips like these provide information that textbooks and schools do not. Going on this trip and having tour guides who had a lot of information to share, made me gain a lot more knowledge about Germany, and was overall very useful…”
What was the highlight of your Berlin History trip and why?
“I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Jewish museum. I thought the architecture was incredible and how creatively it was designed. The 3 different entrances had such significant meanings especially the corridor towards The Garden Of Exile which held 49 pillars which were all positioned on a slanted ground giving visitors a feeling of instability, unsteadiness and disorientation, almost recreating how the Jews may have felt during this time.”
“The highlight of my trip was visiting the Wansee Conference. The area it was in was stunning, starkly juxtaposing the decisions that were made there.”
“Trevor was a brilliant tour guide – his military background in Berlin meant he was able to tell us about what everything was like during the cold war, which was interesting and very insightful. Thank you for your service, Trevor!!”
“I think the highlight of the trip was doing it with my friends. I learnt a lot, but I also had fun while doing it and that made the experience a lot better and more memorable.”
If this has sparked your interest, then we suggest you head over to our Berlin History Tours page to get a full flavour of what Berlin has to offer your school…