Germany and National Socialism

The cabinet of Adolf Hitler on 30 January 1933 in Berlin; German Federal Archive, Image 102-15348 / CC-BY-SA

“On this day 80 years ago” – The Fate of a German-Jewish Civil Servant’s Family as an Online Project

Torkel S Wächter tells a part of the life story of his German-Jewish grandparents in “simulated real time”.More ...
Angela Kühner; Photo: private

Immigration Is Changing the Memory of the Holocaust – An Interview with Angela Kühner

Immigration has brought with it very different ways of viewing the crimes of the Nazis – a challenge for teachers and pupils.More ...
Coverausschnitt „Soldaten“; © S.Fischer

“A great feeling” – A shocking study of fighting, killing, dying and soldiers in the Second World War

Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer have evaluated tape transcripts of POWs from the Second World War and come up with some unsettling findings.More ...
Poster, Jewish Museum, 1936; © Bildarchiv Abraham Pisarek

Only A Few Short Sunny Days – the first Jewish Museum in Berlin

When one thinks of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, one thinks of Daniel Libeskind’s building. But between 1933 and ’38, Berlin already had a Jewish Museum.More ...
Adolf Eichmann macht sich Notizen während des Prozesses; Foto: Gemeinfrei, Quelle: Presseamt der israelischen Regierung

50 Years after the Eichmann Trial

Fifty years ago Adolph Eichmann was put on trial in Jerusalem in perhaps the most spectacular legal proceedings of the post-war period.More ...
Logo of MemoryLoops; © Michaela Mélian

“Memory Loops” – An Overdue Art Work against Forgetting

With the memory project “Memory Loops” about the period of National Socialism, the city of Munich is treading new ground.More ...
Entrance of the Nuremberg Trials Memorial Eingang der Ausstellung Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse; photo: Christine Dierenbach; © Stadt Nürnberg

The Nuremberg Trials Memorial

The new permanent exhibition provides information about the pre-history, unfolding and aftermath of the first international criminal trial in human history at its original location.More ...
Volkhard Knigge; Photo: private

On the Future of Memory – An Interview with Volkhard Knigge

Soon there will no longer be contemporary witnesses of Nazi crimes. The culture of remembrance is facing a profound change.More ...
Field postcard; © 32postkarten.com

Last Post From Nazi Germany

The online-project 32postkarten.com shows a new variation of private memory culture.More ...
The new documentation centre and site, May 2010; Foto: Bildwerk / Stiftung Topographie des Terrors

The new “Topography of Terror” Documentation Centre

In May 2010, the new Documentation Centre opened with a completely revised and newly designed exhibition in Berlin.More ...
Part of one of the covers of the diaries of Joseph Goebbels published by Piper; © Piper

The Nazi First-Person Narrator

What moved Nazi leaders to do what they did? What was someone thinking who methodically killed people or let them be killed? Bochum researchers want to probe the causes using literary studies.More ...
The match against Fred Bölck on 26th February 1933 at the Flora Theatre, Hamburg. Trollmann won with a technical K.O.; © Manuel Trollmann

Adored by the Fans, Persecuted by the Nazis - Sinti Boxer Johann Trollmann

About 500,000 Sinti and Roma were murdered by the National Socialists during the Second World War, but it was not until a few years ago that people started talking about it.More ...
Logo of the consulting network “kompetent. für Demokratie”; © kompetent

“Fire Brigade” Against Right-Wing Extremism

Hundreds of initiatives are engaged in activities to combat right-wing excesses. They include mobile counselling teams that offer assistance to the parents of young people at risk of radicalization.More ...
The cover of “Fremde im Visier”; © Kerber Verlag

Strangers in Sight – Private War Photography and the Subjective Construction of Memory

For her exhibition, “Fremde im Visier – Fotoalben aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg”, Petra Bopp has produced an accompanying catalogue, that is as remarkable as it is harrowing.More ...
Logo of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte; © IfZ

Scholars Are Planning a Critically Annotated Edition of “Mein Kampf”

In 2015 the copyright expires with whose help the Free State of Bavaria has up to now banned Reprints of Hitler’s pamphlet “Mein Kampf”. The Munich Institute for Contemporary History is now planning a critically annotated new edition.More ...
Section of the cover of NSCI. Das visuelle Erscheinungsbild der Nationalsozialisten 1920-1945; © Verlag Hermann Schmidt

“The Symbols are Innocent” – An Interview with Andreas Koop

Graphic designer Andreas Koop has analyzed the visual signature of the National Socialists.More ...
Hörpol station “Courage” in no. 39 Rosenthaler Street, in front of the Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind Museum. Photo: Verena Hütter

History from Headphones – “Hörpol”, an Audio Tour through the Streets of Berlin

Equipped with a map and a Walkman, young people can experience Jewish history on the spot in the centre of Berlin.More ...
Holocaust Memorial in Berlin; © ZaVier

“Coming to Terms” with the Nazi Past

“Coming to terms” with the past: all legal, scholarly and public and private efforts to treat the National Socialist regime of terror and its crimes.More ...
Courtyard of the new visitors’ centre; © Stefan Mueller-Naumann

The new Visitors’ Centre at Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Just in time for the anniversary of its liberation, the new visitors’ centre at Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site was opened on 30th April 2009.More ...
From the book cover “Die vergessene Generation - Die Kriegskinder brechen ihr Schweigen“ by Sabine Bode; © Piper

Growing Up Under The National Socialists And The Second World War

It has been over 60 years since the end of the Second World War and the terror of the Nazi regime and in the Germany of today – except for the various memorial sites – there are hardly any visible wounds to be found. The war however did in fact leave its mark on the children of that period – wounds that have still not really healed even today. For decades in Germany these wounds were shamefacedly breezed over, but over the last few years things have started to change.More ...
Regine Dehnel; © Regine Dehnel

Books Stolen by the Nazis – a burdening legacy in the shelves

Thousands of books stolen by the Nazis stand in the shelves and magazines of German libraries. Once identified, the difficult search begins for their owners or descendants of the owners. But this is important, says Regine Dehnel, the first full-time provenance researcher at a German library.More ...
Silent Heroes Memorial Centre; © Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand

Silent Heroes Memorial Centre: “They Were Resistance Fighters”

The new Silent Heroes Memorial Centre in Berlin documents more than 250 cases of Jews having been saved by their German fellow citizens. An interview with Johannes Tuchel, Director of the German Resistance Memorial Centre, of which the new museum is a part.More ...
Cover `Die Suche´; Copyright: Anne Frank Zentrum

Much Discussed: Comic about the Holocaust Given Try-Out in History Lessons

A comic entitled Die Suche (i.e. The Search) tells the story of a Jewish family murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz. It has been used in history lessons at German schools with great success. Ever since, there has been a discussion about whether young people can and should be taught about the Holocaust using comics.More ...
Dachau Concentration Camp; Copyright: picture-alliance / akg-images / Schuetze / Rodemann

Giving the Victims a Voice: an Interview with Barbara Distel

After 33 years as Director of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, Barbara Distel has retired. She took over as the head of the Memorial Site in 1975. Dachau Concentration Camp was set up by the National Socialists and was located near Munich. The Memorial Site opened in 1965.More ...
Heading of the start page of zeitzeugengeschichte.de; Copyright Metaversa e.V.

Tell me what it Was like back then! A web Portal Publishes the History of Survivors’ Daily Lives.

The web portal (i.e. witnesses of the times) documents and preserves oral histories of daily life in the Third Reich.More ...
Volunteers Robert from Germany and Ivanka from Canada thank the former forced labourer Maria Zolotarewa (June 2007, Simferopol, Ukraine). Aide program: psycho-social and medical support for former NS victims. Photographer: Angela Starovoytova

The Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future Foundation Covers a Whole Lot of Ground

In 2007, the Foundation for "Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future" completed its mission: to disburse compensation payments to former forced labourers. Now it's taking on new challenges, teaming up with the Goethe Institute and other organizations to foster projects devoted to coming to terms with history, providing humanitarian support to survivors of the Nazi dictatorship, and furthering the cause of democracy and human rights.More ...
Logo `Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance und Research´; Copyright: ITF

"Remembrance Must be Upheld Enduringly"

Kathrin Meyer (44) is in charge of the Permanent Office of the "Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance und Research" (ITF). This office of the international organisation, which sponsors projects in remembrance of the Shoa, has now been opened in Berlin.More ...
`Not afraid of contact´: volunteers from Germany are involved in social projects in Hungary. A project by Christen für Europa e.V. [`Christians in Europe´ initiative]; Photo: Frederieke Thielking

Keeping Remembrance Alive – National Socialism as a Topic in German Education

Lessons about National Socialism acquire more authenticity if schoolchildren have the chance to hear survivors' testimony. However, such opportunities are becoming increasingly rare.More ...
Digne M. Marcovicz; Copyright: Carl Hanser Verlag

Digne M. Marcovicz: "I don't think you do much to encourage people if you just give them the bad news"

A new approach to Holocaust education – for young and old alike. Digne M. Marcovicz interviewed survivors and recorded their memories with a digital camera. The result is a powerful and fast-paced mix of testimony, documentary images and comic-book elements which never fails to engage the reader.More ...
`Zug der Erinnerung´(i.e. train of remembrance); Copyright: Zug der Erinnerung

"Train of Remembrance" – Deportations of Children and Adolescents during the Third Reich

More than 12,000 children and adolescents were deported by the National Socialists.More ...
Germany is at the Crossroads; American re-education poster. US army, American zone of occupation, ca. 1947; print 84.9 x 62.4 cm Haus der Geschichte, Bonn, EB-Nr.: 1994/04/0331; Source: Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn

On Accepting Democracy

From Re-education to Re-orientation in Postwar Germany

Diametrically opposed to the soldierly authoritarian Prussian mindset, the easygoing, laid-back American way of life offered a positive model for identification in postwar Germany. "Democracy is sexy!" was the message of the US culture industry, which was transported to Germany via the media and the America House cultural policy.More ...
Paul B. in Hitler Youth uniform; Copyright: Museen der Stadt Nürnberg

Destroyed Youth: Growing up in Nazi Germany

Youth in the era of National Socialism is a story of lost youth. For in a totalitarian state, girls and boys are subordinated to the goals of the state. The exhibition Verführt, Verleitet, Verheizt (‘Tempted, misled, slaughtered’) in the visitors’ centre of the former Nazi Ordensburg Vogelsang complex in the Eifel tells the story of the young in the Nazi era, highlighting both the wider perspective as well as individual fates.More ...
Fritz Stern; Copyright: picture-alliance/ dpa

The Dual Face of History: Five Germanys I Have Known (Fünf Deutschland und ein Leben)

The recollections of historian Fritz Stern

The 81-year-old American historian Fritz Stern, for many years a professor at Columbia University, has published a book whose subtitle in German means "recollections". In reality, however, it is much more than just an autobiography. Over 660 pages, the author interweaves an overview of Germany's eventful history with recollections of his own life experiences and those of his family.More ...
Erika Rosenberg and Emilie Schindler; Copyright: Erika Rosenberg

"He Who Saves a Single Life Saves the Entire World".

The 100th birthday of Emilie Schindler

Emilie Schindler, the woman who, together with her husband, Oskar Schindler, saved 1,200 Jews from certain death in the gas chambers of the Nazi machinery, always said of herself, "We weren't heroes, we just did what we had to". On 22 October she would have been 100 years old. Her biographer Erika Rosenberg pays tribute to Emilie Schindler to honour this occasion.More ...
Ralph Giordano; Copyright: picture-alliance/ dpa/dpaweb

Memoirs of an Escapee: Ralph Giordano publishes his autobiography

In his eighties, the journalist and author Ralph Giordano (born 1923) has published an autobiography. As he himself writes, Giordano is possessed of an "overflowing productivity".More ...
Serdar Somuncu; Copyright: Serdar Somuncu

"We Don't Need a Humour Police"

According to German-Turkish cabaret artist Serdar Somuncu, Germany's Nazi past is not just an acceptable subject for satire: it's absolutely essential. The interviewer was Rolf Lautenschläger.More ...

The Holocaust in School Education

The history of National Socialism is an integral part of the curriculum of German schools. This topic is generally taught in history lessons, but cross-disciplinary studies are also encouraged and promoted. By Nicola Jacobi More ...

"You Cannot Imagine how Dangerous it Was" – Interview with Resi Kohlhofer

Resi Kohlhofer, now 81, met her husband Otto in Kempten in 1943. He was a prisoner, and she was a part-time milk-shopkeeper. They had barely two months to get to know one another. They married shortly after the end of the war, in September 1945. Resi Kohlhofer now lives in Munich. The interview was held by Nicola Jacobi.More ...

"I Was Able to Get out of Auschwitz, But Auschwitz never Got out of Me." - Interview with Max Mannheimer

Max Mannheimer, a Jew, was deported from his home in what is today the Czech Republic to various concentration camps. Today he is one of the most active eyewitnesses of the events of that time. He holds lectures on what happened to him and appeals to his audience to keep the memory alive and defend the principle of democracy. Max Mannheimer was interviewed by Nicola Jacobi. More ...
Stumbling Stones in Cologne; Copyright by Robert Sprang

Do Tread on Me!

Artist Gunter Demnig remembers victims of Nazi persecution – in over 15,000 commemorative stones at German doorsteps.More ...

Contemporary Monument Concepts in Germany

A discussion on appropriate forms of remembrance has already been under way in Germany since the early 1980s.

Learning from History: The Nazi Era and the Holocaust in German Education

Compilation of school projects dealing with Germany´s Nazi past in history/citizen education classes: project data base, newsletter, calendar of events, links

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