Biographical interviews can help to convey the history of National Socialism in a lively way. They can be used in a meaningful didactic way in everyday school life: The educational material (two-disc DVD with teachers’ book) promotes competence-oriented learning in the classroom, on school project days and in exam presentations. They can be purchased via the Federal Agency for Civic Education.
The preparation of the interviews for school and out-of school educational purposes was especially important for most witnesses. Many of them had never had the opportunity to tell about their experiences and until only recently, interested listeners. They went to great pains and often underwent re-traumatizing agony in taking part in a life story interview so that they could pass on their stories to future generations.
Therefore, an important part of the project is establishing didactic approaches to the interview collection. To this purpose, the educational materials "Video Testimonies for School Education: Video DVD – Learning Software – Teachers’ Book” have been developed by the Freie Universität.
The life stories of former forced laborers take center stage. Five representatives from different victim groups tell about their experiences in camps and factories, the behavior of the Germans, and their experiences after returning home. Five video interviews from the online archive have been edited down to 25-minute biographical short films. Two background films provide information on forced labor and compensation as well as about the interview archive. All films were made by the historian Alexander von Plato an the film-maker Loretta Walz.
The educational materials “Video Testimonies for School Education” include the following media:
The educational materials combine the vividness of filmed interviews with contemporary witnesses and the interactive nature of digital media. History education experts and teachers were significantly involved in the conceptualization of the materials. “Video Testimonies for School Education” is geared towards students from grade 9 and above but are also aimed at a general audience.
In the development of educational materials the Freie Universität Berlin cooperated with various schools. Students of the Sophie-Scholl-Schule tested the prototype of the interactive learning DVD at a creative workshop. A 10th grade class at the Hector-Peterson-Oberschule, a course at the Schadow-Gymnasium and a group at the Sportschule Potsdam discussed a biographical short film about a German Sinto’s experience of persecution and slave labor. The Babelsberger Filmgymnasium looked at three exemplary short biographies during a project week. An educational media project of ver.di Jugendbildungsstätte developped the documentary "Suche nach Erinnerung" with an interview from the archive. This practical experience in schools has influenced the further development of the materials. more»
The educational materials were presented in January 2011 in a conversation with one of the survivors at the Jewish Museum Berlin and at various workshops and teacher training seminars in Warsaw, Braunschweig, Dresden, Celle, Prague and elsewhere. more»
If you are interested or would like further information, please contact Cord Pagenstecher, Freie Universität Berlin, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The educational materials “Video Testimonies for School Education: Video DVD – Learning Software – Teachers’ Book” are available through the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education) for 4.50 € / 1.- €.
Please click here to download a German language flyer about our educational materials as a pdf file.