Sunday, November 30, 2014

Potsdam, Germany

We spent most of one day in Potsdam.

We began the morning at a lovely villa in Wannsee - The Wannsee House Memorial Site... where a horrific meeting took place.

The Wannsee Conference included a group of Nazi officials, meeting to determine how to best go about their "final solution" of deporting and killing millions of people. The villa is beautiful... today it is a great museum... but the aura in the conference room is crazy. We had a great tour guide here and the students took a lot in. What a powerful learning experience... to take a week from school... fly to another country... and learn about a piece of history by visiting the actual places. Incredible.

Walking up to the villa:

The villa is on a lake... it's really pretty (and coincides drastically with what took place here in 1942).

We then had time to enjoy and explore the city of Potsdam. It is a very cute city (I think of it more as a town, at least from what I saw of the center)... very walk-able. We enjoyed lunch, a coffee, and walking around...

The Potsdam Conference took place inside Cecilienhof Palace ...leaders from the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States (...Stalin, Churchill, and Truman) met here and made major decisions about WWII (such as how to punish the Nazi Germany). The students are walking to the palace in the photo below... the palace has a park of grounds surrounding it - these grounds were the king's hunting grounds.

It was pretty incredible to go inside the Cecilienhof Palace and stand in the room where these leaders sat and discussed.

After our tour inside the Cecilienhof Palace, one of the other teachers asked me if I had taken any photos... [Yes]... of the students... Uhhhh... I took photos of books on bookshelves! Haha

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