Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Germany

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February 29, 2008

German Students to Spend Week in Berlin

Assistant Professor of German Brian Tucker will be leading a group of nine students from his German-202 class to Berlin over the spring break recess. The fourth semester German class focuses on German language and culture:  grammar, writing, and reading in German as well as learning about its history and present.

The class focuses on the role Germany has played in world history, particularly in World War I, the Weimar Republic, World War II, the Cold War, and its modern role in the world economy.

According to Dr. Tucker, Berlin is a great place to explore those aspects of German history because the capital city was on the front lines of the activity, as it continues to be today. During the Cold War, when Germany was divided, so was Berlin. Today, Berlin is the multicultural capital of Germany with a large and influential Turkish minority.

The class will visit the Holocaust Memorial, a Jewish museum, remnants of the Berlin wall and Check Point Charlie, Turkish neighborhoods in Berlin going to a Turkish bizarre, and eating at Turkish restaurants. Tucker says he will also urge the class to pay attention to the remaining socialist architecture of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) of the former East Germany.

With so much covered in the class and so much to see in Berlin, Dr. Tucker believes the trip will reinforce the class material and give student first hand experience in German life.

“The class is German language and culture,” Dr. Tucker said. “So it’s perfect for them to go and spend a week in Berlin. On the one hand, they get to put the language skills to work that they learned in the class room. And see what they’ve learned here at Wabash really will allow them to communicate and engage in another culture. And not simply be tourist. On the other hand, there is no city better than Berlin for looking at the traces of German history and culture over the last hundred years. Everything’s happened in Berlin.

“We spend a good deal of time talking about German history through the lens of Berlin and going to the city will be the perfect chance for them to see first hand what we’ve been talking about in class.”

Student participants are: Lucas Blakeslee, Callum Davies, Nicholas Durm, Cole Hatcher, James Kowalik, Filip Lempa, Sam Prellwitz, Robert Smallman, Harrison Stone.

Be sure to check back throughout spring break week to read about the students experience in Berlin. Prellwitz will be coordinating blogging efforts for Tucker's class.

In photo: The historic Check Point Charlie as it looks today.