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Exploring Documents – Shaping memories

The Pedagogy and Education department of the International Tracing Service (ITS) pursues the goal of drawing attention to the history of the victims and survivors of National Socialist persecution , and thus to further a culture of remembrance – from different perspectives and for both young people as well as adults. In recognition of the fact that there are fewer and fewer eye-witnesses living who can tell about the Nazi-Regime and the horrors of the concentration camps and forced labor, the documents in the ITS archive on individual fates and paths of persecution are increasingly important.

  • This is not about yellowed documents, but about tangible lives. The archive represents a valuable repository for researching biographies.

    Pava Raibstein, August 2012, Youth Aliyah, Frankfurt

    These can be documents from the Nazi period on incarceration in a concentration camp, or documents from the aid organizations of the Allies or on liberated survivors: Many meaningful and informative original sources in the ITS Archive enable the creation of an educational program appropriate for specific target groups on the history of National Socialism and its consequences.  A wide variety of approaches are possible.  Who belonged to those persecuted, what did their personal stories of suffering and their lives look like? Working with biographical documents is especially interesting for young people, because it is through dealing with stories of individual fates that history comes alive.

    The documents in the ITS Archive also offer geographical and thematic ways to address the history of Nazi Germany and its consequences. What can be discovered, for example in the ITS archives about the care and support of the Displaced Persons (DPs) in one’s own region? It is also possible to illuminate this history by posing gender-specific questions, for example about the work and living conditions of forced laborers. The holdings open up a multitude of thematic approaches; both on Nazi persecution as well as the time immediately after 1945.

    The ITS offers inspirational ideas for educators in both curricular and extra-curricular education: with special training, in an advisory capacity as well as by providing pedagogical materials. Additionally, the ITS can give on-site support to school classes and other groups in their research projects at the ITS in Bad Arolsen.

Pedagogical Materials

With its unique collection of documents as a basis, the ITS develops and publishes pedagogical booklets and pamphlets for educational activities.

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Current Events and Dates

Learn more about current activities and publications of the ITS as well as dates for events that take place in cooperation with the network partners.

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