The fourth and final Persecution Through Their Eyes youth event took place on November 7 at Buchenwald, marking a pivotal moment in the EU-funded initiative. This event, hosted at the Buchenwald Memorial, reflected the project’s main objective by encouraging young people to challenge historical misconceptions and contribute to the creation of a more empathetic and informed society.
The day kicked off with the official opening of the project exhibition by representatives from the Buchenwald Memorial and the LRE Foundation. German students were the first to explore the various personal stories related to persecution during WWII in the exhibition at the Buchenwald Memorial, collaboratively prepared by all four project institutions: “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre in Lublin, Camp Vught National Memorial, Sant’Anna di Stazzema National Park of Peace and Buchenwald Memorial.
Educational sessions for students were centred around these stories, with a primary focus on fostering critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding World War II events and their enduring impact. A meaningful highlight of the day was the engaging discussion among participants, delving into the causes and consequences of Nazi ideology. The debate provided a space for reflection, emphasizing the importance of remaining vigilant to radical ideas that might resurface in contemporary society.
The project exhibition, along with its associated educational activities, will remain accessible at the Buchenwald Memorial until the end of March 2024, with the goal of reaching the widest possible audience. The culmination of the Persecution Through Their Eyes project is set to take place during the Conference at the LRE Forum 2024, scheduled in Aachen, Germany from 26-29 February.
Joanna Roman, Project Manager at the LRE Foundation, said: ”It was a great privilege observing the growing engagement of students and their keen interest in discovering the stories featured in the project exhibition. Their feedback holds immense value for us – learning that they are enthusiastic about sharing these exhibition panels in their schools and realizing its potential proves our success in meeting the project’s goals to make WWII history accessible and relevant for young people.”