Racism, Exclusion and Extermination (Buchenwald Memorial near Weimar)
Description: Together with young people from different countries, get to know better a history that is crucial for understanding National Socialism and the Second World War: the German war of extermination against the Soviet Union that began 80 years ago, and its consequences. Exchange and reflect on family experiences and national narratives with the participants and research experts. Discuss the significance of the events of that time for the society around you and for a future Europe. Make an important contribution to the preservation of the concentration camp memorial and the development of long-term remembrance projects.
Type of Work: Mainly on the former Weimar-Buchenwald railway line with stonemasonry work in memory of children and youths deported to Auschwitz. Dealing with found objects from the camp period, e.g. in the form of restoration work. Documents research on individual fates.
After its construction in 1937, Buchenwald concentration camp was one of the largest concentration camps of the Nazi era, with more than 278,000 inmates from over 50 countries. Thousands of people died here from hunger and disease, through hard labour and the violence of the guards, and on the marches at the end of the war. Since 1990, international Work- and Studycamps have been held on the grounds of the former concentration camp (KZ) Buchenwald in cooperation with the local Youth Meeting and Education Centre (JBS).
Study Theme: You can actively shape the study content. Topics can e.g. be:
- History of Buchenwald concentration camp (1937-1945), the Soviet special camp (1945-1950) and Buchenwald in the GDR (until 1989);
- Remembrance and commemoration of the Second World War with reference to the present, e.g. illness/epidemics in the concentration camps and radicalisation, conspiracy narratives and elite scepticism during the Covid pandemic;
- Communicating history and remembrance in the volunteers' countries of origin; critical examination of the volunteers' own ways of coming to terms with the past.
Accommodation: The Buchenwald Youth Meeting Centre (JBS) uses two former SS barracks, which were used as a directorate building and a youth hostel during the GDR era. There are two-bed and multi-bed rooms (3/4 persons), a cosy sofa room, a large seminar room, barbecue facilities and table tennis. The stay in the group rooms as well as the meals will be in accordance with the current hygiene rules, which will be communicated to you in advance.
The group will probably spend more time outdoors than indoors - take this into account for your travel clothing.
Language: The common language at the Work- and Studycamp is English.
Requirements: Volunteers should not be older than 26 years. A good command of English is a prerequisite. This Work- and Studycamp contains an extensive study component and therefore requires a great interest in historical and contemporary issues. The main principle is an open, tolerant and equally (self-)reflective approach to each other.
Approximate Location: Covid-19: The regulations at the time of the work camp apply. We will inform you about this in the info sheet and by email. Please note the vaccination and testing regulations: https://t1p.de/at82o.
Notes: Free time: Excursions e.g. to Weimar (new Bauhaus Museum, Goethe National Museum, Schiller's residence, swimming pool, etc.) or to Erfurt independently at the weekend. Possibly visit the Work- and Studycamp at the Mittelbau-Dora Memorial near Nordhausen.
If you apply through an SCI Partner or Contact organisation, a fee of 50€ applies to contribute to int. insurance and administration costs. For volunteers coming from countries with SCI Branches and Groups, there is no additional incoming fee. You can check the status of your local sending organisation here: https://rb.gy/fveuew. If this fee exceeds your financial ability, please make a comment in your application.