And the award goes to …..

“Most likely to develop narcolepsy (if he hasn’t already)” – Adam :)
The “So down with his homies” award goes to Jack :)
The First shall be last and the Last shall be first award goes to Robyn & Jess (but only after she finds the stone in her shoe. After she finds her shoe….)
The Three Stooges Honorarium…
The Nobody told me I needed a rain coat award goes to Jak. He is also the recipient of a special award of this tastefully broken umbrella.
The “who loves ya baby” poseur award goes to no muss no fuss Gus :)
Er, the “who can I walk into backwards now” award goes to Alistair after his week’s tally reached a dozen (including a teacher, wheelchair user, cyclist, …)
The Barbie & Ken Award goes to Rachel & Liam
Arnav is hell bent on showing his crew just how pole dancing should be done!
Jai – the King of Bling
Harry has earned himself a free membership to the Ann Summers Appreciation Society…
Our incredible girls.
For whom the bell tolls
The B-Team
Mother Hen Amba
Most likely to become a professional photographer.
The ‘fussy vegetarian’ award
The A-Team – We love it when a plan comes together

Cecilienhof Palace

We visited the site of the German Emperor’s hunting lodge at Potsdam. In 1945, the Big 3 Allies – USA, Britain & the Soviet Union – met here to map out a future for Europe after the war’s end. Stalin, Truman & Attlee decided on the partition of Germany, reparations for war damages and the denazification of the people amongst other things. Quite possibly one of the most important meetings of the 20th Century.

Sachsenhausen

All those incarcerated in KZ Sachsenhausen passed through this gate which bears the old lie “Work Sets You Free.”
Despite the rain, we studied the barracks, camp prison and sites of unbearable cruelty.
The site of the gallows on the Appelplatz (roll call square). Behind is the Schuhkommando running track. Prisoners were forced to run for hours on end over rough and difficult surfaces to test the durability of footwear made for the military. Harsh punishments were administered to those who couldn’t cope with the pain or exhaustion.
The camp prison housed those who committed acts of disobedience including British POWs and, famously, Martin Niemoller, author of the poem ‘First they came for the communists…’

Walking fun

1936 Olympic Stadium, Berlin – the Nazi Olympics.

Inside the stadium where Jesse Owens (USA) threw down the gauntlet against Nazi racial theory by becoming the first track and field athlete to win 4 gold medals, a feat not repeated until 1984.

Since 1945 it has been illegal in Germany to display the Nazi swastika or give the Heil Hitler salute. Hence, the symbol on the Olympic bell has been partially concealed.

Today the Olympic swimming pool is open to the public so they too can enjoy the sun.
This memorial commemorates the German parliamentarians who were victims of Nazi persecution between 1933 and 1945.

One of the last remaining segments of the Berlin Wall can be found next to the ruins of the Gestapo’s HQ on Wilhelmstrasse.

This memorial commemorates the burning of books by the Nazis in 1933 in front of the Humboldt University. As Heinrich Heine predicted in 1820: “It is a small step from burning books to burning people.”
The Reichstag – burned down in 1933, restored – along with a new dome designed by British architect Norman Foster – since Reunification after 1990.
Berlin landmark the Brandenburg Gate.

Memorials

The Friedrichstrasse memorial to Jewish children deported from Germany between 1938 and 1945.

The New Synagogue on Oranienburgstrasse was protected from destruction by Nazis in November 1938 by a German policeman who, in a state where persecution of the Jews was being legitimised, question their moral authority to do so.
Stumble stones in the Jewish area serve as reminders of families who used to live at addresses but who never returned after the war’s end.
A memorial to German women who protested against the arrest and detention of their Jewish husbands. These men were subsequently released.
Berlin’s memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. It was built on the site of Hitler’s Reichschancellery complex.

Platform 17

We started our exploration of Berlin at Grunwald, site of one of the deportation stations of Jews. This set the context and the tone for what followed. Along the edges of the platform are recorded details of each and every transport that left to go to the East. Destinations included ghettoes like Lodz and Theresienstadt, camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka as well as execution sites in Lithuania and Latvia.