Fourteen students and three teachers toured Krakow and Berlin over the half-term. Krakow lived up to its reputation of being one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and the tourists learned a great deal about its interesting history. Things were more sombre when students visited Auschwitz-Birkenau; yet, we learned that some prisoners were able to hold on to their humanity in what was clearly hell-on-Earth. Our visit to the city ended with a tour of the old Jewish Quarter and the Oskar Schindler Museum.
After an eight hour coach drive, the tourists arrived in Berlin. Here, the focus was more on Cold War history and students visited Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall Memorial and the Reichstag. One of the highlights was visiting the Stasi Museum which was, in fact, the former headquarters of this most feared Communist Secret Police force.
Although this was a trip dealing with many serious, and sad, historical events, both students and staff had a very enjoyable time. Members of the public were full of praise about just how civilised and focused the Westbucklanders were on the trip.