The Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media set up the programme “Young people remember” to ensure there will still be a vibrant culture of remembrance in Germany in the future which brings young people closer to their own history but also creates space for encounter and exchange. Foreign Minister Maas and Family Minister Giffey presented the international priorities of the programme today (29 January) at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Both ministers feel strongly about the culture of remembrance and commemoration. Foreign Minister Maas said:
The future needs remembrance. But we also need remembrance for the present. Each generation needs to engage anew with the question of remembrance.
The Ministers met with young people from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt who shared their experiences of visiting memorials. Then, the Ministers talked to them about remembering victims of National Socialism and the question of what the experience meant for the young people and their reality.
Why “Young people remember”?
The German culture of remembrance is under pressure. Most Germans are witnessing growing anti-Semitism. At the same time, the generation which survived the Shoah and can share their experience as eyewitnesses is shrinking as time passes. There are ever fewer opportunities to share the insights of those who experienced the Shoah with young people. This makes memorials even more important as places of remembrance and learning.
What is the programme about?
The programme will provide support for visits to memorials and, also by means of international exchange, promote remembrance work amongst young people. Moreover, the programme will also promote specific projects such as “Remembering for the present” for German schools abroad, the German-Polish project “people remember - young people build the future”, as well as encounters between young people from Germany, Israel and eastern Europe, to help actively to come to terms with the past and work on remembrance. The cooperation with the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ) is also forward-looking as it is focusing on tapping new ways of making information available, primarily digitally.
The Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth are jointly working to strengthen a culture of remembrance through the “Young people remember” programme.