Traces of National Socialism

Our concept

Looking for traces - our concept

Many youths feel oversaturated with the topic of National Socialism. It is often said that every young person should have visited a former extermination camp. But do they need to confirm to us once again how horrible everything was, and that all this may never happen again? This is really clear to most of us by now! So, what, for example, is the matter with a trip to Auschwitz?

We have several good reasons for such a trip. Films and books at home or in school are always only an expedient. To actually move around in a former camp is something completely different. Suddenly it is there – and it can be grasped. It is easier to reach „insights“. And we have the time to deal with the topic intensively. Then, questions appear that are relevant to the present: ‘How would I have behaved as a young German in 1940?’, ‘Would I have had the courage to resist?’, ‘How did such enormous crimes come about?’, ‘Were the Germans led by a small band of criminals?’ But also: ‘How much potential for evil is there in humans?’ ‘And how much in me, myself?’

Our programme ‘Traces of National Socialism’ is distinguished by several features as a unique contribution to political education:

  • Learning at the authentic location
  • Being literally touched by the topic
  • Leaving the abstract world of learning with books, tables and chairs behind
  • Being able to discover by oneself
  • Connecting the group experience with an important topic
  • Dealing with a topic a bit more intensive than usual
  • Creating connections between the place of learning and one’s own environment

Our seminar locations

Auschwitz

Auschwitz is the most famous location of the murder of European Jews. Auschwitz is also the symbol of the Holocaust as such. This double role is a heavy load for the location. However, there are few memorial places of this kind, where there is so much to see and grasp in the original.

We want to show how such a murderous system worked and which people committed these crimes. This question can be answered in Auschwitz beyond mere speculation. With numerous original documents available, and in talks with contemporary witnesses and historians, these questions can be dealt with in Auschwitz like virtually nowhere else.

Buchenwald

Buchenwald concentration camp was one of the largest in the area of the German Reich. Many German – among them many political prisoners – and in the course of the Second World War also more and more foreign prisoners were incarcerated here.

After 1945 and up to 1950, Buchenwald was an internment camp for the Soviet Army – first and foremost for former Nazis, but actually also for enemies of the Soviet system.

During the time of the German Democratic Republic, Buchenwald was of major national importance as a symbolic place of anti-fascism.

All three eras are remembered at Buchenwald with specific exhibitions.

Theresienstadt

Theresienstadt / Terezín was recently developed as a place of learning and now offers a variety of opportunities. Theresienstadt was used by the National Socialists as a model ghetto to deceive the world public about the truth of the displacement and subsequent extermination of the European Jews.

How did such a ghetto work? How did the displaced persons make arrangements there? That it was not simply all about material survival can be seen in the world-famous children’s drawings from Theresienstadt ghetto. There are few comparable place with such a great number of personal evidence of the victims. The individual emerges from the countless masses and becomes visible once again.

Our offerings for you

You and your group want to find ‘Traces of National Socialism’? We often work for many years with our close cooperation partners. With our experience and competences, we unburden the pedagogical staff from laborious organisational tasks. We can also easily deal with large groups. Several times already, we have organised and accompanied sophisticated and nuanced programmes at memorial places for all the school classes of a given year. We are happy to create an offer tailored to your needs. Just contact us without obligation for further information.

Contacts

For memorial programmes at Auschwitz / Terezín:
Bartholomäus Fujak
fujak@ibb-d.de
+49-231-95 20 96 39
Agata Grzenia
grzenia@ibb-d.de
+49-231-95 20 96 27
For memorial programmes at Buchenwald:

Heiko Hamer
hamer@ibb-d.de
+49-231-95 20 96 14