Fragile Connections

A modular theater, performance and video film project by and with a variety of youth ensembles on victims and places of forced migration in Frankfurt am Main with a focus on child transport from Frankfurt am Main and forced laborers in Frankfurt am Main.

A joint artistic expression for a diverse urban society

Frankfurt is characterized by a diverse migrant urban society. Following Michael Rothberg, an active reminder of National Socialist injustice should not convey 'the one history' in the migration society; it should lead a dialog about the legacies of National Socialism. Fragile Verbindungen [Fragile Connections] aims to promote the historically aware participation of young people with highly varied educational backgrounds, migration histories, or limitations in the democratic shaping of the migration society through multi-perspective joint artistic expression. 

In special exhibitions and newly designed memorial sites, young people from the Frankfurt migration society explore the current importance of remembering the fates of unaccompanied children and young people who emigrated from the National Socialist dictatorship and the plight of forced laborers who were deported to Frankfurt. The thematic arc consists of aspects of forced migration, foreignness and arrival in exile, participation, belonging and home.

Inclusive youth ensembles for theater productions and performance projects

In its modular structure, the project integrates the activities and expertise of various Frankfurt institutions. As actors, several inclusive youth ensembles develop two theater productions and two performance projects in the exhibitions and also on stage. The creation processes and performances also provide the material for professionally designed video clips, short documentaries, as well as a framework program for historical-political education. In this way, the young actors become multipliers for school and youth groups. In the process of the project on forced labor, a theater text is also created.

Das Junge Schauspiel Frankfurt

During the last ten years, Junges Schauspiel Frankfurt has been developing theater and performance projects with inclusive youth ensembles on civil courage, racism, antisemitism, escape and migration for the evening program, which are invited to national festivals. The basis of the work is a special methodology of sensual-emotional, holistic appropriation of the contents, intersubjective experience, the design of frames of reference and a joint artistic realization.

The Modules

Am Leben bleiben [Staying Alive] – performance project in the temporary exhibition “Kinderemigration aus Frankfurt” (Child Emigration from Frankfurt) of the Exile Archive of the German National Library (1933-1945).

SEE YOU. – theater project in the Kammerspiele of Schauspiel Frankfurt.
This project together with young people builds on the performance "Staying alive" and is supported together with other funding partners. In this module, the funding within the framework of the Education Agenda NS Injustice expands the topic to include the fates of children within other persecuted groups, such as the issue of saving children with disabilities or young Roma and Sinti, in the form of digital transmissions of individual topics (child emigration, NS "euthanasia," persecution of Sinti and Roma, NS forced labor) in video clips and short documentaries by a professional film team. The contributions are distributed via social media channels and can be accessed in the educational programs of the project partners.

Erinnern verändern [Changing Memories] – a performance with young people in the current CityLab of the Historical Museum on the topic of Frankfurt and National Socialism. In search of traces today.

In Community (AT) – a performance and theater project for the newly emerging history site “Adlerwerke” with the aim of creating a real felt sense of labor migration legacies and creating references to migration history beyond the National Socialist era, for example the hierarchization of privileges, forms of unfree labor today and our behavior towards in relation to these issues.

Youth play – a renowned author of children's and youth theater develops the text basis using the process guidance and thus a publishable youth play.

Accompanying educational program

In cooperation with the Anne Frank Educational Center, an accompanying program with workshops and materials for schools, educators and multipliers will be developed for all artistic modules.

Data Sheet:

Project partners:

Bildungsstätte Anne Frank
Historisches Museum Frankfurt
Studienkreis Deutscher Widerstand 1933–1945
Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933–1945 der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek

Duration: September 2021 until December 2022

More about the project

Education Agenda NS-Injustice

The Magazine of the Education Agenda NS-InjusticeThe Magazine of the Education Agenda NS-Injustice

The Education Agenda NS-Injustice started in autumn 2021 with two certainties: Firstly, the survivors are passing away; there are few chances today to meet eyewitnesses who can tell us first-hand about the atrocities committed by the National Socialists. Secondly, we are increasingly entering contexts in which boundaries between fiction and fact are blurred. Under these conditions, we are dependent on new ways of learning and innovative forms of conveyance in our critical examination of National Socialist injustice and in historical-political educational work. In the magazine we present the funding program, projects and current debates.