Racism, Exclusion and Extermination (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, died of hunger and diseases, were murdered in various ways, died in use in the war industry, or were killed by death marches. After 1945 the Soviets were using the former camp to concentrate the National Socialists. The innocents were also brought in the special camp.
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, examination of findings from the period of the camp, e.g. in the form of restoration work.
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). How could such a camp exist and work near the classic city Weimar? What happened in Buchenwald after the war against the Soviet special camp? How do the societies remember it and what role do historical places play in this regard? Discussion on remembrance and commemoration of the Second World War in Germany, Ukraine and Russia and their current references. Dealing with "Forgotten camps".
Accommodation: In the international youth meeting centre at the memorial place with private showers in the rooms (3-4 people), possibilities to grill, to play table tennis etc. The volunteers will cook in teams.
Requirements: The participants will do practical work mainly in the mornings, while the evenings are left for flexibly designed workshops, discussions, visits of museums and much more.Thus, the study part should comply with the wishes and ideas of the participants. This workcamp has a very extensive study part, so you must have a strong interest in the subject matter. English knowledge is required.
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.
Notes: The participants should be not older than 27. Visits to the cities of Weimar, Erfurt and the ‘Partnercamp’ at the memorial of Mittelbau-Dora close to Nordhausen. Visit of the park Goethe in Weimar, the house of Goethe or Schiller, swimming pool.