Contemporary Witnesses on Forced Labour in WWII (Georgsmarienhütte near Osnabrück)
Description: During World War II more than 2000 people from 17 countries were kept as prisoners in this concentration camp set up by the Gestapo. The main groups of prisoners were forced labourers who came from the Netherlands and the former Soviet Union. Their punishment also used to serve as a deterrent to more than 25000 other women, men and children who were forced to do labour. Almost half of them came from the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. The memorial site Augustaschacht has been gradually built in the last 18 years thanks to the involvement of volunteers and displays Osnabrueck’s history concerning the Nazi-time. The volunteers in this camp will support the construction of the memorial site and learn more about the history of WW II and its consequences for Russian, Ukrainian and German people.
Type of Work: Help with the excavation of the former camp territory; maintenance of the art installation “renewal of remembrance”. The volunteers may develop own proposals for the new exhibition about Gestapo and forced labour, who will open in April 2020.
Study Theme: WWII history; strengthening awareness about forced labour, based on specific examples; Nazi history, its causes, and effects; interviews will be held with Jewish contemporary witnesses of the war and the holocaust in the ex-Soviet Union, who immigrated to Munster, Germany around 15-25 years ago and therefore build a bridge between past and future and between Germany and Russia/Ukraine. The volunteers will learn about the conception of the new permanent exhibition of the memorial sites Gestapokeller und Augustaschacht. The main subject of the exhibition is Gestapo and forced labour.
Accommodation: In a house of the German Red Cross (Local group Holzhausen).
Requirements: Volunteers must be open-minded, able and willing to do physical excavations, be open for new perspectives, interested in the topic and intercultural encounters and speak good English.
Approximate Location: Georgsmarienhütte is a village close to the university city of Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. Trips to Osnabrück and the Netherlands are planned.