We lucked out our first day with weather, as it was in the 70s, and while still a bit sleepy, we headed out to learn about German history, before diving into the Cold War.
Our first stop was the German History Museum, a newish institution that was built during the Prussian period, then changing hands from the German kaiser to the Third Reich, to the East German Communist government, and finally to the reunified German government. The two-story building with a modern annex took our students from the early beginnings of German history all the way to the present day. We skipped all the way to Germany in the Cold War and spent an hour and a half looking at artifacts from the Cold War and comparing East v. West Germany.
After that, we had lunch in a modern open gallery near the Berlin Dom and returned back to the museum to look at other periods we did not get to earlier. Then we had the wonderful pleasure of meeting with Abbey Road Programs’ Director, Dr. Arthur Kian, at Check Point Charlie, where he gave us a detailed yet personal overview of the major Cold War events and the two different ideologies of the East and West.
We later got to visit the museum itself, looking at the contraptions people used as they tried to escape to the West. After a dinner at the modern Potsdamer Platz, we headed to bed early to try to get over jet lag.
-Jeanne Scheppach (Photos by Hannah Welch)