Today's was a somber visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp that saw us traveling over an hour and a half to reach the camp, thereby tracing the same route that untold thousands took to the camp and their death. After an hour's preparatory lesson in the morning, students were prepared to explore the camp in small groups or pairs, which meant that each had different moments or places in the camp that were particularly meaningful. For Trinket, an art major, it was seeing the art that was recovered after the war, from small handcrafted pieces to drawings. For Max, it was seeing mention of the Swedish industrialist who saved his great grandmother. For Kieran, it was seeing the section where the Russian POW's were killed. And for most, walking through the barracks, and catching glimpses of the horrors that unfolded here, and working to imagine it, was potentially the most critical moment of our trip.
Entrance to Camp
Sometimes it was the seemingly smaller artifacts that had the biggest emotional impact
Here we are back at the Oranianburg Train Station, waiting to return to Berlin
Note: Will M. was with Brian and Andy when this picture was taken.
Students will now have the task of doing their weekly projects as we near the end of week two. They are all adapting well and learning to navigate independently or in groups in and around both our neighborhood and Berlin. Andy, Brian, and I are often struck by how transformative the study abroad experience can be, particularly with all of us living together. We see students moving from needing a lot of guidance to becoming more autonomous in their abiity to navigate everything from using a German washing machine to finding and ordering food, to supporting fellow students.