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ITS offers educational projects

The International Tracing Service (ITS) of Bad Arolsen has presented its offers for pedagogical work to various educational institutions. Particular focus is on school projects in the German state of Hesse, in addition to nationwide seminars at universities and workshops, as well as lectures on Nazi persecution. “In the future, education and the corresponding publications will be an important pillar of the work of ITS,” said Dr Susanne Urban, head of the Research Department. “Historians’ findings and insights should be communicated to the public.”

ITS’s educational offers for collaboration with schools, universities and other educational institutions are based on three central elements: the biographies of Nazi victims and the depiction of perpetrators and onlookers, as well as the merits of helpers and rescuers as a model for moral courage. “We feel obligated to convey the relevance of the documents stored at our archive to younger generations,” explained Urban. “Our educational programme has only just begun, yet it’s already received positive feedback. We started off by launching some student projects at the local level and are now offering seminars for teacher trainees and teachers’ advanced training.”

The subject of the seminars, workshops and school projects focuses on deportation as a reflection of national socialist abduction and extermination policies, the Holocaust, the persecution of Sinti and Roma, forced labour with regional emphases, German occupation and its impact in different countries, the death marches and displaced persons. “The documents at ITS offer a perfect approach for multiethnic classes to examine the consequences of intolerance and racism, as well as forced migration,” said Urban.

The educational programmes available for young people and adults can run for a few days or even comprise entire project weeks. In addition, accompanying support for long-term workshops and seminars is available. Advanced training for teachers at schools or in extracurricular education is also offered. A one-day programme encompasses a tour, an introduction to available research options, and a workshop with selected documents. There is also a week-long programme consisting of various lectures and workshops, individual research and visits to memorial sites in the region.

Last September, ITS introduced the educational concept with which its institutional educational work was launched. Since then, a number of different projects have already been carried out with the concept. Within the scope of a two-term project, students of the University of Kassel are currently working together with ITS to develop teaching materials for middle and secondary school pupils. These will focus on the fates of children who survived the Nazi regime. “In the area of youth education in particular, these life stories are important for imparting empathy and knowledge,” noted Urban.

Those interested in the ITS educational programme can directly contact the Dept. of Research on +49 5691-629 321 or send an email. Due to limited staff resources, early registration is required. The educational concept and a flyer about the available educational offers can be downloaded (in German only).