As you can see from the newsletter entry the students have been rather busy! After a tour of Augsburg, a tour of Munich, and a number of presentations and discussions earlier in the week, today the group of 24 finally compiled the ways in which they believe Swabia and Cornwall are ‘different in the same way’ with regards to language/dialect and music.
The results were very interesting, and out of the 8 topics that are explored in the two-year project I believe we have more in common in these two areas than any of the others. It has been a great opportunity for students to engage and explore another culture while also reflecting on their own heritage, and to compare and contrast the two.
After their final presentations this morning we travelled to Dachau for a guided tour – this was understandably a very emotional afternoon. The tour guide was pleasant and informative, and the students left after three hours with a lot of questions and thoughts.
We returned to Munich where we had dinner in a restaurant, allowing students to tuck in to some traditional Swabian cuisine and also to have a chance to reflect and to discuss what they had experienced.
I’ve been left with mixed feelings after hearing their questions, reflections and comments. These really are a great bunch of students and I have been so impressed with the emotional maturity that they have demonstrated today, but I guess it is also sad to see that some of their innocence has faded after being exposed to the horrors of industrialised discrimination. ‘How and why would people do such horrible things?’ ‘What would I have done if I had been alive back then?’ ‘Why would God have allowed this to happen?’ ‘Have we learned from this or are we always going to make the same mistakes?’ – Just some of the questions we had over dinner.
Still, they did enjoy the food; most managed to order their own dish and to pull a smile or two for the photos at dinner (see below). Students now have most of the weekend to spend with their families, followed by a farewell evening on Sunday. We travel back on Monday, and look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday.
Report by Mr Johns and Miss Bennett