By HANNAH STEELE – Herzlich willkommen aus Berlin! Hearty welcome from Berlin. On April 26, a group of nine students who take German as a language made a long journey to visit the cultural city of Berlin.
On the trip, the students got to experience the city of Berlin and its many historical and beautiful sites. From seeing the Brandenburg Gate, to going inside the tallest building in Berlin, the Fernsehturm, the trip definitely kept the group busy with countless attractions.
Berlin is renowned for its flourishing cultural scene and its numerous museums and abundant art. The group went to various museums, including the Pergamon Museum and the museum of Jewish history. Along with seeing museums, the group got to experience some of the copious graffiti in the city by visiting the Street Art Alley in Hackescher Markt.
One of the highlights was definitely the food in Berlin! The students were most excited to try currywurst, a food staple in Berlin consisting of a pork sausage coated in curry ketchup. Although sophomore Grace Mullen didn’t enjoy the currywurst as much as she thought, she still found a lot of good food to satisfy her during the trip. “Even though I didn’t enjoy currywurst, I still liked a lot of the food there, like döner kebab and this waffle covered in Nutella that we got at a street vender in Alexanderplatz” [a large public square in central Berlin].
Although there were many exciting moments on the trip, there also were some solemn ones. The group got to visit Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp outside of Berlin in Oranienburg, Germany. Seeing the concentration camp really affected senior Ashleigh Bowman, “In history class, you learn about the Holocaust and everything that happened, but you don’t truly understand the severity and reality of the situation until you see it in person. As I walked through the camp, I felt unsettled. Everything was so bare and dusty, and you can’t help but wonder how people managed to survive in such awful living conditions. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and I recommend visiting a concentration camp because there’s so much to learn and understand about the Holocaust.”
Despite some issues with getting to Berlin, sophomore Maddie Todd still enjoyed the trip. “From United Airlines being United Airlines to seeing a new part of the world, the Germany trip was definitely one for the ages. Just getting to see the concentration camps, experiencing Berlin, and eating new food was pretty neat.”
Lillian Rauss enjoyed making memories on the trip before graduating from IHS. “Getting to travel is a wonderful way to open your eyes to all the opportunities, beautiful sights, and the history of the world around you. I had an amazing time improving my German language skills while both absorbing the culture and helping my new friends with their traveling adventures!”
“This trip was the adventure of a lifetime!” sophomore Theresa Lamantia expressed. “I made so many great friends while exploring the city of Berlin. I would definitely like to go back one day.”
Frau Geletka, the German teacher at IHS who chaperoned the group, enjoyed the trip.
“While the German students and I were in Berlin, we learned a lot about the city, ate a lot of German food and all of the students got to practice the language with native speakers. I am very grateful that 9 students were able to take advantage of this great opportunity. Traveling abroad is a truly eye-opening experience that I hope more students will have in the future.”
[Photo by Frau Geletka]