Learning from history (Buchenwald near Weimar)
Description: Since 1990 this workcamp has been taking place in cooperation with the local youth meeting and education centre on the territory of the former concentration camp (KZ) Buchenwald. After construction in 1937, KZ Buchenwald was one of the largest concentration camps of the Nazi era. More than 278,000 people from over 50 countries were deported there and deployed to it or its more than 130 sub-camps for forced labour. At least 56,000 people did not survive Buchenwald. They suffered from terrible existential living conditions, were murdered in various ways, died in use in the war industry, or were killed by death marches.
Type of Work: Mainly cultivation and maintenance on the grounds of the former camp and the former railroad line Weimar- Buchenwald, recovering & analysing buried objects from a waste dump of the former camp (archaeological work), erecting individual memorial stones for those prisoners who were deported from Buchenwald to Auschwitz.
Study Theme: Options of extensive research of diverse aspects of the Buchenwald concentration camp history (1937-1945), the history of the Soviet Special Camp (1945-1950) and Buchenwald during the GDR period (till 1989); The topic “remembrance” of WW2 in Germany, Russia and Ukraine and its relevance to current-day politics; How this history is taught in memorial centres/museums in the home countries and self-critical reflection of our own ways of dealing with the past; Is a “European Remembrance” possible, despite partly very divergent, national stories and tales; Visits to the cities of Weimar and Erfurt
Accommodation: In the international youth meeting centre at the memorial place. Volunteers don't have to bring sleeping bags.
Requirements: This workcamp has a very extensive study part, so you must have a strong interest in the subject matter. You must also have good language skills since camp language is English, (the study part can be made in another language though).
Approximate Location: Buchenwald is very close to the city of Weimar, well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.