Just before the end of Michaelmas term the History Department took 60 Year 11 history students to visit the sites of Berlin in Germany. The trip like the city itself was full of contrasts with visits to places which are such a stark reminder of the worst episodes of 20th century history. From the Wannsee Conference House where the Final Solution was planned and the Holocaust began, to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and the Stasi prison, where a terrifying but poignant image of life in East Germany after 1945 is created so vividly by the amazing guides. And if that wasn’t enough, no trip to Berlin is complete without visiting the Berlin Wall, small sections of which are still standing in the centre of the city as a reminder of the divide that used to split Germany in half. To lighten things up, all of the historical visits were interspersed with shopping and exploring bits of Berlin – including a Christmas market which was full of food, decorations and music to gladden the heart and to get us in the mood for our own family Christmases back home!