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The “Polenaktion” 1938 – Learning with historical sources

The International Tracing Service (ITS) will hold a training seminar for specialists from schools and other educational institutions as part of the educational program accompanying the “Expelled! Berlin 28.10.1938” exhibition at the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin. On September 17, 2018, Akim Jah, a research associate from the Research and Education department of the ITS, will lead the seminar on “The ‘Polenaktion’ 1938 – Historical sources for history lessons.”

This is the first exhibition to cover the history of the “Polenaktion” (“Polish operation”) in Berlin. In the early hours of October 28, 1938, more than 1,500 Berlin residents of Polish origin were arrested in their homes, businesses and on the street and sent by train to the Polish border. A total of 17,000 people were deported from the German Reich by the Nazis over this October weekend.

The ITS supported the exhibition team with its research and is now offering a training seminar for schoolteachers and other educators as part of the educational program accompanying the exhibition. The seminar will focus on the historical context, administrative preparation and execution of the “Polenaktion” as well as the deportees’ paths of persecution.

Original sources covering this early mass deportation offer great potential for educational work relating to the Nazis’ policies of persecution and the Holocaust. During a tour led by exhibition curator Alina Bothe, the advanced training participants will be given a historical overview of the “Polenaktion”. This will be followed by an introduction to educational work using historical sources from archives. In the practical part of the seminar, participants will work with selected documents as examples and discuss their use in school classes and other educational settings. After the seminar, the participants will be given the work materials, including high-quality copies of the historical documents as well as methodological and didactic tips and working questions to be used in their own classes, seminars or as part of a project day.

At a glance

  • Training seminar for educators from schools and other institutions: “The ‘Polenaktion’ 1938 – Historical sources for history lessons and extracurricular education”
  • Time: September 17, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m
  • Place: Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum, Oranienburger Strasse 28–30, 10117 Berlin
  • Recognized as a teacher training seminar by the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family and as a supplementary training offer for teachers in the Federal State of Brandenburg.
  • Registration & questions: info@aktives-museum.de

The seminar is designed for around 20 participants. Participation is free of charge.

The seminar program overview can be found here. More information about the accompanying educational program can be found in the flyer.

The exhibition was developed together with the Aktives Museum Fascism and Resistance in Berlin and the Institute for East European Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin, with the cooperation of the Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum, the ITS and the Fundacja TRES.