How tenable is our consensus on culture of remembrance? Are we in need of fresh approaches to remembrance? How are the new media altering our image of the past? The EVZ Foundation addresses these questions in its “digital // memory” funding programme designed to develop and test digital formats for historical-civic education.
We seek to promote diverse approaches to the history of National Socialism while encouraging a critical examination of current forms of group-focused enmity and their consequences. We provide support to projects that utilise the learning and communication environments of today’s information society in a bid to strengthen democracy.
For the accompanying and networking program of the funded projects, we cooperate with iRights.Lab.
Web documentation and online campaign: Polish-Jewish-German dialogue
An online campaign on the Polish-Jewish-German dialogue publishes weekly contributions with the hashtag #DifficultQuestions. The basis for this is a web documentation used in historical-political education, linking digital tools and techniques with historical sites and local historical experiences. For this purpose, people are interviewed who work interculturally and transnationally and who address issues of remembrance policy. Key questions are: What was the relationship between Poles, Jews and Germans before, during and after the Second World War? How sustainable is our consensus on a culture of remembrance? What about those who do not accept this consensus? An important element of this debate is the focus on the history of National Socialism and on contemporary forms of group-focused misanthropy (hate speech, antisemitism).
Crafts, Bits & Bytes: Participatory remembrance through code-based marking of local memorial sites
The project aims to work with young people in rural areas and plans to develop the prototype of an interactive tool that will enable the creation of local monuments. It will use this tool to process data from an existing database and design printing forms that will subsequently be printed using laser or 3D technology, depending on the materials available locally. This will make it possible to create personalised and tailor-made memorial sites. The prototype is to be tested and improved in five workshops. The project will conclude with an international event in Warsaw, where historians and educators will exchange views on the use of modern technologies in history teaching and will also experiment together in practical terms.
Augmented Reality App "ARt": Graphic access to the living environment of prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp
The project "ARt" wants to present drawings by prisoners in an augmented reality app to visitors of the Dachau concentration camp memorial site. The memorial site has watercolours and charcoal sketches that are rarely accessible to visitors in special exhibitions. While exploring the memorial site, the app will enable visitors to project drawings at the respective location into reality via their own smartphones and to receive additional media offers, such as the corresponding memories of prisoners as background information. This enables visitors to see works of art that would otherwise remain hidden. They can gain knowledge independently about the concentration camp system and acquire media skills. "ARt" pursues a multi-perspective approach that promotes historical understanding of the heterogeneity of the prisoner society and creates a link to the topic of group-focused misanthropy in the present.
From prototype to first user version: The serious game "Behind the Scenes: Nuremberg '34".
The development of the serious game "Behind the Scenes: Nuremberg '34" as a digital mediation format represents a central component in the new concept for the museum of the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg. It functions equally as a link between established formats of historical-political education and creative-technical innovation potential. The development of the prototype, which was tested and evaluated in the autumn of 2020, was already supported by the EVZ Foundation in 2019/20. The game enables innovative and multi-perspective access to the events of the 1934 Nazi Party Congress. Through exploration and interaction, the historical event can be experienced, individually and in relation to the present. With the further support of the project, the prototype is to be expanded into a user version and permanently integrated into the museum in the form of tablet stations.
Organisation of a conference on new forms of remembrance culture with digital games
The Digital Game Culture Foundation is planning the conference "New Forms of Remembrance Culture with Digital Games", which is dedicated to collective remembrance as a participatory process. An introductory panel in the morning will highlight the requirements and challenges facing actors in the field of remembrance culture and, above all, the opportunities offered by game-based formats. In order to provide an insight into the practice, several so-called "gamings" will be organised, in the course of which games will be presented that already contribute to the culture of remembrance. In the style of a classical reading, the game developer and a historian play their game live on stage in this format and discuss its educational and didactic potential for the culture of remembrance. The conference will conclude with a focus on networking among the various actors.
Life after survival: Development of a web-based serious game on trauma and memory of the Shoah
The project will develop a serious game for school and extracurricular education. Psychosocial experiences will be incorporated into the pedagogical work, thus combining fact-based and emotional approaches to the teaching of history. Starting point is the documentation "Life after survival" by the photographer Helena Schätzle. In the form of interviews, photographs, quotations, facts, sound, music and films, the player in the Serious Game is emotionally introduced to the topic of the Holocaust and its traumatic effects across generations. An own type of game is developed along the educational needs. Through tasks, the users dive deeper into the history of the survivors and their descendants.
Marbles of Remembrance: Development of a chatbot about the fate of Jewish children in Berlin 1933-1945
Based on the messenger service WhatsApp, the project develops a new digital contribution to the culture of remembrance: a chatbot primarily aimed at pupils offers a low-threshold combination of historical learning and active remembrance in two languages (DE/EN). The focus is on the stories of Jewish children in Berlin during the Nazi era. Via three access points, users receive GPS-based multimedia information on their smartphones as they move through Berlin. In the future, the project can be extended to other cities and persecuted groups.
Keeping the Memory: Development of a learning app on the Berlin Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism of Europe
The project team is developing a German- and Romani-language app with an interactive map, images, audio and video material to complement the Berlin Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism of Europe. So far, there is no accompanying exhibition there and little information is available on the surrounding glass walls. The knowledge about the genocide committed against Roma and Sinti is only marginally disseminated within society so far. Even less is known about the history of the civil rights movement and their years of commitment to the recognition of the genocide and the erection of the monument. With the development of the app, this knowledge is to be made visible to a wider public and the voices of the descendants are also to be included in the historical narrative.