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The project, initiated in cooperation with by Dr. Klaus Hermann from the Institute of Jewish Studies and funded by the "Leo Baeck Program – Jewish Life in Germany – Schools and Continuing Education", will focus on the teaching of and learning about Jewish life in Germany before and after the Holocaust in schools.
With the aid of the example Jewish life in Berlin processes of change regarding the understanding of Jewish identity in the modern age can be reflected quite clearly, this dealing with the differentiation between the cultural or national and the religious identity that developed from the age of Enlightenment on, i.e. the time of Moses Mendelssohn. And it is exactly here, at this geographical location where Jews found “answers to the Modern Age” and created a new Jewish environment in this Modern Era, that they became the victims of an unparalleled barbarism during the Shoah. The videotaped eyewitness interviews of the Visual History Archive mirrors quite well the daily life of the different Berlin Jews before the Shoah.
As the interviewees, as a rule, experienced the Shoah as children and adolescents, topics that have a high level of relevancy for the school curriculum are addressed again and again in the interviews. There is a direct link here to the context in which today’s youth is living: family life, everyday life and people’s history, school life, sports activities, living together with other Berlin Jews as well as non-Jews in the city and its different districts, contact between Jewish and non-Jewish youth in school life and outside of school, changes in the social and political life after 1933 all the way to the deportation to the concentration and extermination camps.
Therefore the focus of the project will be on the topics “School and Sports”, “Chanukkah and Weihnukka (Christmas Hanukkah)” and “Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Jewish Confirmation for Boys and Girls”.
For every topic a pupil’s workbook of about 20 pages for those that are in the older forms is planned. Furthermore, digital learning material is planned that will, in addition to the text as well as supplementary graphics and visual material, provide interview excerpts from the Visual History Archive and short biographies of the respective eyewitnesses.
The pupil's workbooks which will be produced in cooperation with teachers of the 3 following schools and will be integrated in their school lessons
Within the scope of the seminar excursions will be made to education points of jewish life in Berlin.
Dr. Klaus Hermann
Academic Council of the Institute of Jewish Studies
Verena Lucia Nägel
graduate assitant of the project Visual History Archive
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