During the Easter break, 21 pupils travelled to Munich in Southern Germany on a Chemistry, History and Business Studies trip, a trip which involved a wide range of experiences ranging from Munich at the time of the Third Reich to an explanation of the art of brewing Bavarian beer.
On the first full day, pupils had a tour of Dachau Concentration Camp and a historical walking guide of Munich itself. Dachau is a small leafy suburb of Munich which was the site of the first concentration camp in Germany, and home to the training centre for the SS. This was sombre experience, really highlighting to the pupils just how horrific the conditions were in the camp, with a quarter of the people who officially entered the site, never coming out again. In the afternoon we had a walking tour of Munich which included the beer hall where Hitler made his first speeches, the memorial to the White Rose resistance movement and Hitler’s private offices where Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement just before the start of the Second World War.
After an intense first day, the mood was lightened the next day with a trip to Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest commercial brewery (since 1060 at the same site) and a tour of the Allianz Arena (home of Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich football clubs), where there was some friendly interaction with the Bayern supporting guide and the 1860 contingent within our group.
The third day saw a visit to the BMW museum with a tour of BMW World, where they were shown all of the latest BMW engine and car developments. Then on to the Olympic Stadium, where several attempts at the world 100m record were made by our group on the track and the Fifth form beat the Remove 2-1 at football on the pitch where England beat Germany 5-1 in a world cup qualifying match. Visiting the memorial to the Israeli athletes who were killed as a result of the kidnapping by Palestinian terrorists was in stark contrast to the fun had in the stadium. On the last day they visited the Deutsches Museum, one of the world’s leading museums of science, before flying back to London after an exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable, yet challenging time in Munich.