For the past four years, Prof. Winrich Kühne, who holds the Steven Muller chair at SAIS Bologna, has invited students to a five-day trip to Berlin at the end of the academic year. Below Svenja Heins recounts this year's trip.
This year a group of 20 students -- many of whom had never been to Berlin or even Germany -- arrived in time for a Rhinelandian dinner at the Staendige Vertretung, a favorite of Prof. Kühne's.
This was especially apparent in a trip to the former concentration camp of Sachsenhausen -- only a 40-minute train ride from the center of the city -- and of course also when we saw the physical manifestation of Berlin's separation: the Wall. Or as tour guide Nigel taught us: antifaschistische Schutzmauer (German words are notoriously long and difficult).
There were pleasant destinations as well. At the "Schloss Cecilienhof", the venue of the Potsdam Conference, students were in awe of former statesmen like Churchill and Truman. Upon entering the conference room, one student exclaimed: "I can't believe Stalin sat in that chair!"
|A segment of the Berlin Wall|
One evening we met fellow SAIS Bologna alumni for a rainy barbeque and learned about the career opportunities that lie in store for a SAISer in Berlin. We spent a morning at the Center for International Peacekeeping, which was founded by our host, Prof. Kühne.
The trip was a great way to learn about Berlin and Germany, and we participants are very grateful to Prof. Kühne who year in, year out, gives SAIS Bologna students a chance to experience the vibrant and ever-changing city of Berlin.
Svenja Heins (BC13/DC14)