Funding program for encounters with former forced labourers and other victims of National Socialism.
The testimonies of survivors enliven stories and narrations of the past. Personal encounters with victims—whether of forced labour or other National Socialist crimes—encourage young people to confront the biographies and realities of witnesses, bringing their life stories into the contemporary. Hereby, the victims’ memories are passed down and retained, preserved for the next and coming generations.
The EVZ Foundation has supported initiatives interested in inviting former forced labourers, as well as other victims of National Socialism, to Germany since 2002. In the framework of this funding program, primarily young people are encouraged to encounter the life stories and histories of eyewitnesses. On top of this, we offer financial support for accompanying projects, like theater productions, interviews or short films. In individual cases, we also fund youth and intergenerational projects, with trips from Germany to survivors in Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, or the US. Please see our current call for proposals for more information.
On the 18th and 20th of April 2019, a visit between high school students and survivors from the US, Israel and Belgium occurred for the memorial event for the children of Bullenhuser Damm. The commemoration remembers the 20 Jewish children and 28 adults killed in the basement of the building at Bullenhuser Damm 92-94 on the 20th of April 1945. Then and now this building was a school, but during the war the murdered children were subjugated to medical experiments. Sisters Tatiana and Andra Bucci, two of the invited survivors, are closely connected to this story. Arrested when they were only four and six years old, with their cousin Sergio, they were deported to Auschwitz. The SS deported their, their cousin, Sergio, as well as 19 other children from Auschwitz to Bullenhuser Damm. On April 2019, the sisters told students of their experiences and walked around the Roman-Zeller Square (named after another victim) with the 4th grade class from the Grundschule Anna-Susanna-Stieg and Grundschule Rönnkamp. Following this, students from the Max-Schmeling School, the local School Hamburg-Kirchwerder and the High School Findorff from Bremen, gathered in the gym of the Bullenhuser Damm School. There they spoke, together with survivors, about this history, keeping the memory vivid for another year.
More about the children’s stories here.
The European School Rövershagen has organised various encounters with survivors of National Socialism in Germany.
Since for the survivors it is increasingly difficult to travel, the committed students and teachers were given the opportunity to travel to Israel, conducting interviews with survivors and attending the 2019 Shoah Remembrance Day. The invited survivors came from the Bukowina region, in today’s Romania and Ukraine. Students were able to gather biographical information, learning about the difficult histories of years of deportation and starvation many survivors faced. All the experiences were collected to create a well-made photo exhibition about the legacy of Jewish life from the Bukowina region.
To the school website.
On the 7th of February 2018 a visit between students of the high school Gymnasium Lemwerder in Bremen, Esther Bejarano, an Auschwitz survivor, and Kutlu Yurtseven, affected by the NSU attack in Cologne, occurred. After a morning filled with Rap and Film Workshops, the students themselves, in collaboration with the Rap group Microphone Mafia, created the evening program. In addition, Bejarano read from the book “From Girl Orchestra in Auschwitz to Rapping against the Right,” while Yurtseven spoke about victim-perpetrator reversal and structural racism in the context of the NSU attacks. The project day was organized by the teaching staff of the Gymnasium Lemwerder, the cultural center BEGU Lemwerder and the project group CINS (The Circus under National Socialism).
To the movie here.
“A conversation with an eyewitness cannot be substituted by the most vibrant of provisions.”
For over ten yeas, the Jewish Museum Berlin has held archive workshops with Holocaust survivors, made possible through support from the Foundation EVZ. The workshops are oriented towards high school and university students. By working with original archival material, gifted to the museum by donors from all over the world, students are able to explore themes of the period. After this phase of group work, a presentation, discussion and exchange phase follow. In 2015, a total of 31 workshops with 15 different donors were funded, coming to Berlin from the US, France, Israel, Great Britain, Sweden and Switzerland.
To the Project page here.