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Class of 2020
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Spring 2018

During my time abroad, I was fortunate enough to travel to Germany in order to explore the
history of Germany, more specifically, Germany during the Third Reich. I was still able to spend
a lengthy time in Berlin which allowed me to explore everything that caught my interest. This
trip exceeded my expectations. When I traveled to Berlin, Germany, I had the chance to travel
to many different memorials/museums. I also took part in the “Hop on Hop off” bus in Berlin,
which allowed me to see all different parts of Berlin, while learning about the history of the city.
The first memorial that I stopped at was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This
was a very nice memorial that had two components. The first component was the outside site,
which included 2711 abstract slabs of concrete. I enjoyed the uniqueness of this memorial, and
recognized the quietness that surrounded it, despite the noise that comes from the busy
Berliners just a few blocks down.

The second component to this memorial was an underground multi-room exhibition about the
extermination of European Jewry. Each room has a different objective, but they all come
together in order to tell the stories of those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
The most interesting museum that I had the chance to visit during my time in Berlin was the
Topography of Terror, which happened to be right next to the Berlin wall. This museum was
focused on educating visitors on the consequences of Nazi rule. The location of this exhibition
is where the headquarters of the Secret State Police, the SS, and the Reich Security Main Office
were located during the Third Reich. I found this museum to be profound, as I discovered more
information on the Nazi’s reign of terror than I imagined. It was a sobering experience to see
images in a timeline presentation on specifically the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. My
experience in Berlin was moving and rewarding in quite an inexplicable way.

My motivation to become more knowledgeable about this dark time in human history stems
from my personal and educational interest in government and history. Being able to take part
in this project allowed me to further my knowledge and understanding on such an important
part in history.

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