Last week, the LRE Guide Network gathered in Dachau for an LRE Foundation guide workshop which aimed to explore how to present the topic of persecution, particularly to a young audience.
Persecution through their eyes project
The two-day guides workshop was one of the several activities that comprise “Persecution Through Their Eyes”, an EU-funded LRE Youth Programme involving a number of international partners: Camp Vught National Memorial (Netherlands), Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation (Germany), the National Peace Park of Sant’Anna di Stazzema (Italy), and “Grodzka Gate ‐ NN Theatre” Centre in Lublin (Poland).
Adopting a multi-perspective approach, the project focuses on a deeper understanding of the international dimension of persecution during the Second World War.
The guides workshop’s focus and programme
Genocide, persecution, and ethnic cleansing are sensitive topics that can elicit strong emotions and reactions. In order to deal with this, historical guides must have strong guiding skills. Even if there is no single ideal methodology, the goal of the LRE Foundation guides workshop was to provide guidelines and advice on how to tell the horrors of war, particularly to young people, while sharing best practices from several institutions with expertise in teaching and guiding on the topic of persecution.
On the first day, participants had the opportunity to listen to the experiences of persecution remembrance sites and memorials such as “Grodzka Gate ‐ NN Theatre” Centre, Sant’Anna di Stazzema, and Max Mannheimer Study Center. They also had the chance to put what they learned into practice by creating stories that could give faces to the many victims of the Nazi regime.
Instead, the emphasis on the second day was on storytelling techniques and practical methods for creating dynamic tensions in order to capture and hold the audience’s attention.
“It was a great and interesting meeting.”, says Joël Stoppels, LRE Project Officer, “During the workshops, guides from the US, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy and France learned from each other. It was a very good way to share knowledge of how to tell stories of persecution, especially to a young audience through the workshops.”