Earlier this week, my German class went on a field trip to a cemetery. There are, of course, many cemeteries in Berlin, but our teacher chose the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery, located in Mitte. This cemetery is actually located on the same block as the place I interned at last summer, and I walked by it every day, not even knowing it existed.
While there are plenty of famous or interesting people in cemeteries all throughout Berlin, the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery has a particularly large concentration of well-known people – many of them artists or activists of some sort – so it made sense that we went there.
Each of us chose a person and did a presentation on the life and accomplishments of that person while standing graveside. The literary theory nerd in me opted for Hegel but we also had presentations on Ernst Litfaß, Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Teufel, Arnold Zweig, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and Franz Krüger, in addition to learning little bits and pieces about others we passed during our walk. In spite of the rain during our excursion, the overall experience was a great way to do some research, practice our writing and speaking skills, and learn more about German history in an interactive way.