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Cooperation between ITS and the Wilhelm-Filchner School in Wolfhagen

The International Tracing Service (ITS) concluded a cooperation agreement today with the Wilhelm-Filchner School in Wolfhagen. From the start of the academic year 2012/2013, an annual history workshop for the senior classes and various projects on National Socialist persecution will take place. In the future, the pupils will be able to use the archives of the ITS for presentations and assignments in an interdisciplinary way. "Due to this cooperation, our pupils are able to deal with the subject of National Socialism in such a way that the people who were persecuted and killed are in the foreground", said Headmistress Rita Schmidt-Schales. "This personal and regional-specific access can lay a foundation stone for a responsible attitude in view of the trends of xenophobia and racism in the modern age.

The agreement concluded today was preceded by two history workshops. We have had positive experiences with the method of research and discovery-based learning", stated teacher Marcus von der Straten. "We no longer bring the National Socialist period to our pupils just through the factual knowledge from text books. Instead, we want to convey history and bring it to life using specific fates." One possible focus of the future history workshops is the National Socialist terror system and its effects on people, such as, for example, the persecution of Jews and Sinti from northern Hesse. Survivors who lived in camps for displaced persons in this region after the war are also to be addressed.

After the successful trial period, we are establishing a long-term cooperation today", Dr. Susanne Urban, Head of Research at ITS, was pleased to say. "The Wilhelm-Filchner School is the second school in the region with which we are cooperating in the area of education." With the assistance of the digital archive and the library, pupils can trace the fates of persecuted people during the National Socialist regime. The results are evaluated further in their lessons and placed in the context of general information about National Socialism.

The connection of this difficult subject to human fates is very important in education, explained Urban. In this way, pupils also learn to accept responsibility for their fellow man today. The educational work of the ITS includes school projects, seminars at universities, workshops and talks and is based on three key elements: the biographies of people persecuted by the Nazis, the options for action for perpetrators and spectators and the achievements of helpers and rescuers as a model of moral courage.