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Keuka College News

Hopping Through German History

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.

For senior Diane DePrez, her interest in Germany began when she was in high school.

“We had exchange students from Germany come to our school, and I always wanted to learn more about the culture of a country that—on the outside—seems so similar to our own,” said DePrez, a resident of Fairport. “It has such a rich history and I am curious about so many things.”

DePrez is satisfying her curiosity this month during a Field Period in Deutschland.

“Many people are under the misconception that Germany is all about the two World Wars,” said DePrez before she left for Germany. “This is something I would like to dispel. As a political science and history major, I am especially interested in how Germany’s history and political system have affected its modern culture. One of the ways I will learn about these is to talk to Germans about their country’s history.”

DePrez’s itinerary called for a trip to Museum Island, so called for the complex of five internationally significant museums—all part of the Berlin State Museums—that occupy the island’s northern half.

“While in Germany, I will stay in hostels, which I have been told is a good way to meet people from all over the world,” said DePrez. “One goal while conducting my Field Period is to immerse myself in German culture and to see how it compares to America. I will travel throughout Berlin and Potsdam, and tour many sites significant to German culture and history.”

DePrez says this Field Period “will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about Germany’s history through guided tours, as well as visiting museums and historic sites,” she said. “One of the places I will visit is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a damaged tower that is a symbol of Berlin’s resolve to rebuild the city after World War II and a reminder of the destruction of war.”

Added DePrez: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am excited to learn all I can from the people, food, and culture of Berlin.”

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