Programmes available for pupils and other young people
The House of the Wannsee Conference offers a range of possibilities to youth groups and school classes in order to deal with the history of the persecution and extermination of the European Jews and of National Socialism in general, but also with its historical background and after-effects. All educational courses are prepared and supervised by staff members who are experienced in dealing with the historical and educational aspects involved. The educational opportunities are not restricted to courses in history and political science but also include such areas as literature, religion, philosophy, art, biology and sport.
In the permanent exhibition, basic information about the historical background and the process of the extermination of the European Jews is provided. In addition, either during a study day or while working on a project for several days, study groups may investigate and discuss a given topic dealing with the history of National Socialism and its consequences. Furthermore, staff members of the educational department offer their support for the preparation and supervision of
- city tours
- international meetings
- educational trips
- extended work on a given project.
The formulation of questions and the structure of work involved are largely determined by the pupils’ level of knowledge, their interests and needs. Consequently, as far as contents and methods are concerned, learning processes at the Memorial and Educational Site are conceptualised in different ways depending on the time available. A preliminary telephone conversation with staff members of the Memorial Site and the participation of pupils in the choice of the topics they want to deal with during the seminar will contribute to the success of any visit.
A guided tour through the permanent exhibition provides visual impressions and information concerning the National Socialist persecution of the Jews: their systematic and brutal isolation, deprivation of rights, expulsion and extermination by shooting in open fields and mass murder in the camps. Within the framework of the guided tours, discussions are held about the events which the exhibits convey and about their causes. Such a tour lasts for approximately two hours.
Furthermore, groups may make use of various methodological possibilities such as investigating the exhibition on their own in small groups supported by staff members. Work in such small groups usually requires approximately three hours.
Groups deal with specific topics during study days. Such a day generally consists of four sessions of ninety minutes, including a break for lunch (an inexpensive meal can be ordered if required). Study days enable participants to investigate a chosen topic using various materials and media. Topics should be determined beforehand on the basis of preliminary consultation with the participants. Staff members of the Memorial and Educational Site will then develop a concept for the chosen topic designed according to the needs of each particular group, and will also provide suitable material. The programme enables the participants to formulate their own questions, to investigate them independently and then to discuss the findings within the group.
Seminars lasting for several days can also be arranged. Frequently, a combination of study days at the House of the Wannsee Conference and city tours or visits of other memorial sites and exhibitions concerning Jewish life in Berlin may be possible.