Before the Easter break 30 Year 10 students and members of the History Department visited Munich. This visit is linked to the GCSE specification but is also fantastic for anybody who has an interest in Weimar and Nazi Germany.
On the first day, students had a walking tour of Munich, exploring the cultural history of this famous city. Students were able to visit the site of the doomed Munich Putsch of 1923, the beer halls and gardens of Munich and Munich University. This is the site where Hans and Sophie Scholl, students of the university dropped hundreds of anti-Nazi leaflets, which led to their execution. There is a memorial to Hans and Sophie Scholl at this site.
Day 2 involved a trek to the Mountains where Hitler enjoyed spending a lot of his time. This is the location of the ‘Dokumentation Centre’, which focuses on Propaganda, but also methods of fear used by the Nazi Party. The views were astounding and underneath this complex, Hitler built a bunker system, which we were also able to explore. Following this we visited Salzburg in Austria, the home to the ‘Sound of Music’ to immerse ourselves in some Austrian culture. There was also some free time for shopping and eating apple strudel! In the evening we returned to Munich and had some free time for bowling.
Day 3 was another busy day. We visited the site of the Zeppelin fields in Nuremberg and the enormous stadium Hitler was planning to build on this site. It now houses an extensive Museum covering his rise to power, methods of control and Propaganda. The site was supposed to resemble the colloseum, but would have been 3 times larger and covered in Marble. The Zeppelin fields, where the Nazis held their famous rallies, including the rally of 1935 which led to increased laws segregating Jewish people, despite not being maintained, still provided our students with an opportunity to see how Hitler would use rallies to inspire and intimidate his audience. In the afternoon we visited courtroom 600 the site of the Nuremburg trials, where men and women accused of participating, organising and killing during the holocaust were put on trial. There was a museum dedicated to explaining the process and the fates of the people on trial.
Day 4: This was our last day in Munich. In the morning we visited Dachau Concentration Camp and memorial. This was obviously a time for reflection. So much of what we had been learning about during our time in Munich and Nuremburg was in preparation for this. The students were respectful and listened carefully to our guide. In the afternoon we went for lunch in the Englischer Garten in Munich where we heard traditional German music and relaxed in the sun before boarding our flight home.