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Research-Based Learning with Original Documents

Over 170,000 Jewish men and women were deported by the Nazis from the German Reich to ghettos or extermination camps, where most of them were murdered. These deportations are the focus of a new collection of sources assembled by Akim Jah from the International Tracing Service (ITS) and Marcus Gryglewski from the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site (GHWK). The book entitled Ihre Grabstätten befinden sich nicht im hiesigen Bezirk (Their Gravesites are not Located in this District) has been published by Hentrich & Hentrich and is suitable for use in schools and extracurricular educational programs. 

Many of the historical documents from the ITS archive in Bad Arolsen have been published here for the first time. They are presented as high-resolution reproductions in order to create a sense of immediacy. The original documents include Nazi administrative files as well as reports, letters and diary entries from survivors.

The book provides a number of tools for use in archive education programs. It starts with a basic introduction to learning with documents. Each of the nine chapters is preceded by a text that provides historical context for the following sources. Explanations help decrypt the actual documents, while working questions encourage further research.

Thematically, the book covers a spectrum ranging from the planning and bureaucratic organization of the transports to how large swathes of the population preyed on the deportees. The situation after the liberation and the laborious path to creating a memory culture are also documented.

For a simple printout of the material for teaching, we offer the complete publication in PDF form as a service for free download here.