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“Culture Day” of Predicants at the ITS

Predicants studied the fates of persecuted clergymen of different denominations.

On August 17th, 48 predicants of the Evangelical Church of Hesse-Waldeck spent their culture day at the International Tracing Service. They got together in order to get a glimpse of the history, tasks and goals of the ITS. Subsequently in a workshop titled ‘Persecuted and a Believer’ the participants had the opportunity to learn about the individual fates of priests, rabbis and Jehova’s Witnesses with the aid of the documents from the ITS archives.

Working with documents was followed by a presentation of insights gained about the lives of individual clergymen of different denominations, and about their persecution and resistance. The predicants attempted to imagine the person hidden behind the lists and directories of various kinds. During the feedback session, the introduction has been described as “informative” and the participants were “positively impressed” with the work done at the ITS.

The consensus was that an access to and an understanding of individual life stories is of great significance, as well as the issue of language, which is relevant for the study of such documents and the realization that people cannot be reduced to numbers. The participants reflected how people of different background, religion and world views are treated and how the subject of Nazi persecution is broached in today’s Germany.