Our year 10 and 11 history students visited the first concentration camp opened in Germany to find out what life was like for prisoners on a recent trip to Munich.
Studying for GCSE history, the group walked through the cells, crematoria and a gas chamber during the four day trip which was planned to give then a first-hand insight into the Nazi regime.
History teacher Mrs Blann said the classmates were particularly moved when they saw the gas chamber.
Caitlin Feneron from class U5B said: “It was heart wrenching and mind-boggling. I would love to go back in the future.”
Fellow pupil Victoria Batchelor said: “Our trip to Munich was extremely emotional and put our history lessons on Nazi Germany into perspective.”
The peers and their teachers spent a day at the ruins of the vast rally grounds at Nuremburg, where Hitler delivered speeches to crowds of thousands, followed by the Museum of Fascination and Terror for some fascinating interactive learning about what it was like to live under the regime.
They visited the Nuremburg Court Room, where the trials of Nazi War criminals were held after the war and the Beer Hall where Hitler gave his first speech.
While there, the Gad’s team joined walking tours of the city and saw Hitler’s first tiny and arguably unimpressive apartment as well as the university where the White Rose Movement were beheaded for treason after standing up to Nazis.
History teacher Mrs Blann said: “The trip was hugely successful and very well attended. It will benefit the students greatly when it comes to their final GCSE, as well as inspiring them to carry on with their interest in this topic of study.”
All those who went on the trip kept a diary and will present their thoughts and findings as a project which will be judged, with the best announced in assembly after Easter.
Dachau Concentration Camp was opened in 1933 Heinrich Himmler and held Jews, political prisoners, German and Austrian criminals and foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps, which were mostly work camps or ‘Arbeitskommandos’, and were located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The camps were liberated by U.S. forces in the spring of 1945.