We are witnessing a shift in the culture of remembrance. Those who survived the Holocaust and who can testify first hand to the next generation about what they experienced will soon no longer be with us. The culture of remembrance must therefore be strengthened. The Federal Foreign Office will contribute to this by focusing on what it does best, namely promoting international exchanges and encounters. A total of five million euros are being made available for various projects.
“Remembering for the present” – a competition at German schools abroad
All 140 German schools abroad will be called on to develop projects related to the culture of remembrance during the 2019/2020 school year. This competition for ideas grew out of an initiative that was launched by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Students are being asked to come up with original projects that examine the history of their respective school, especially in difficult times. They may look into questions such as: What was everyday life like at the school during the days of the Nazi regime in Germany? How did students learn and interact with one another during colonial rule? At the end of the school year, students involved in the best three projects will be invited to come to Berlin. The competition aims to promote students’ understanding of the culture of remembrance and of tolerance – also for those who do not have family ties with Germany.
“People remember – young people build the future”
This pilot project aims to promote encounter between German and Polish youths and is co sponsored by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz. School groups from Germany and Poland will together uncover the history of individuals who were victims of German war crimes or of the Shoa, or learn about cultural objects in both countries that were destroyed, including the special role that they played in their respective country. Emphasis will be placed on both reciprocal visits and trips to memorials in Germany and in Poland. The project will be launched in 2019 with the first two pairs of partner schools, with more to follow.
Cooperation with the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”
The Federal Foreign Office works closely together with the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” to enable bilateral and trilateral encounters at memorials, and joint projects that promote coming to terms with the past and working on remembrance, with young people from Germany, Israel and Eastern European countries. Another aim is to further the culture of remembrance in cooperation with civil society in Germany and its partner countries.
With support from the Federal Foreign Office, the Foundation is also developing training and support programmes for young teachers at memorials, in schools and other educational institutes – always for the purpose of establishing or strengthening international exchange. Moreover, the Federal Foreign Office has asked the Foundation to tap new, primarily digital, ways to make available historical information and testimonies from survivors.