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German Exchange, October 2017

On a very dark October night, 45 sleepy but excited students set off for a trip to Berlin. The purpose of the trip was to see sights relevant to their GCSE studies on Weimar & Nazi Germany and The Cold War.

After what seemed like a week on the road the group reached their hotel for a well-earned rest. After an early rise the following morning, the group proceeded to the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic arch of Berlin. Following this, they set off on a walking tour of Berlin, and found out about the events that shaped the building of the Berlin Wall and some vital information about Cold War Germany. The afternoon was spent consolidating that knowledge with a trip to Checkpoint Charlie and its Museum.

The following morning was spent at the Topography of Terror Museum, and as the name suggests, this depicts and tells the story of the brutality of the Nazi regime. The group moved on later that day to the Palace of Tears, a museum housed in an old railway station that gives an emotional look into life during divided Germany and the consequences thereof. The afternoon was the most sobering of all the sites visited as the students spent three hours at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, just outside Berlin.

The final full day in Berlin saw the group visit the Olympic Stadium for a guided tour. They were told about its history, especially during the 1936 Olympics, and about its modern day use. The afternoon finished with a trip to a local bowling alley where competition was fierce. The students were absolutely fantastic throughout the trip, soaking up the information and the sights.

Contact Details

  • Headteacher: Mr C Prosser

  • The Downs School
  • Compton
  • Newbury
  • Berkshire
  • RG20 6AD

  • T: 01635 270000
  • F: 01635 579084
  • E-Mail