Field Study: Berlin

Adrienne Ruth
October 2, 2013

I am finally getting into the swing of classes following our intensive phase and first field study trip, and have not had the chance nor the time to sit down and post about Berlin and Prague. So about a week and a half late, here it is. I am doing two individual posts for each trip since they were both very different and I have so much to say.

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is one of the most fascinating cities I have ever visited. Throughout our time there, we discussed many reoccurring themes relating to the history of Berlin, and the one that I still think about is the simple idea that Berlin today is still rebuilding. The best example I have is from our city tour, in which our guide showed us an area that is currently under construction. He explained that the land had remained empty and untouched following WWII until the state finally decided to build. It was part of a program to return land to those who rightfully owned it before the Nazi regime, and this particular piece in the middle of Berlin was never claimed. The city tour also included the Brandenburg Gate, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin Wall pieces, Hitler’s bunker (now a parking lot) and Checkpoint Charlie.

Following our first day, we visited the Berlin Memorial and had a meeting at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. Then we had a tour of the Reichstag building. This was one of my personal favorites from the whole trip. The tour was extremely interesting as well as the history of the Reichstag. The building has gone through various different phases of construction and renovations; the most recent added the glass dome. The dome is open to the public and symbolizes Berlin’s attempt to move away from a past of Nazism and instead towards a future with a heavier emphasis on a united, democratic Germany.

Next stop, Prague! Look for another post about our time there.

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Adrienne Ruth

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Adrienne Ruth. I am a third-year student at Occidental College majoring in Diplomacy &amp; World Affairs with an emphasis on security. I am also a member of the women&rsquo;s varsity lacrosse team. I have been an active member with the Office of Student Life, participating and helping coordinate their Emerging Leaders Program. In my free time I enjoy going to Disneyland, finding a new TV show addiction on Netflix, and spending time with my friends. I love travelling and discovering new cultures. I am looking forward to starting this new journey, learning German and having the chance to photograph some of Europe&rsquo;s most historical and important cities!</span></p>

2013 Fall
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Occidental College
International Relations
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