Katie’s Berlin Blog entry. More from the #berlin2013 trip #historyteacher #tweko

Posted: July 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Arriving at Hohenschönhausen, the Stasi Prison, on our second day in Berlin I didn’t really know what to expect. I had read about people’s experiences but actually being there left me with a strange feeling – I imagine others felt the same. Our guide was an interesting man, who later told us he had actually been imprisoned at Hohenschönhausen for 10 months at the age of eighteen for trying to escape into West Berlin. You could say he was relatively lucky – some people spent years locked in the cramped, dark cells. Walking the corridors and standing in the very rooms people had once been confined to was a valuable insight into the atrocities that occurred in east Berlin only 20 or so years ago.
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Visiting Anne Frank’s house – where she and her family hid from the Nazis for 2 years – was a surreal experience. Walking through the door, past the very same bookcase they had used to conceal the entry, was weird. The magazine cuttings Anne and Margot had stuck on their bedroom walls were still in place and in another room pencil markings on the wall showed the girls’ growth over the two year period. Again it was a case of standing where they stood, where history was made, and reflecting on the horrors that they had to endure. And being thankful that Anne wrote about it all, so we can remember and learn from what she had to experience.

The trip is one that I will remember for a very long time. It is an incredible feeling, visiting a place you have learnt about in class, and actually knowing the history of it. The food wasn’t that great, but the people, jokes and of course, the history, made up for that hugely!

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– Katie P

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