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Voices of the Victims at the Site of the Perpetrators

Project work with video interviews

Project work with video interviews
Image Credit: CeDiS / FUB

Educational program with video testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust at the Topography of Terror.

Together with the "Topography of Terror" foundation are offering five seminars in Berlin in which video testimonies from both the Visual History Archive of USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education as well as from the online archive “Forced Labor 1939-1945” will be used.

In the interactive seminars, sources about the perpetrators are confronted with survivor memories. The goal is to create a critical source of historical learning where the participants acquire a diversity of perspectives - the perpetrators, victims and bystanders - which they can then compare.

Creglingen in March 1933: Memories of an Early Pogrom

On March 25 1933 in Creglingen, all Jewish men were brought into the town hall and tortured by SA and policeman. The Creglinger Pogrom can be seen as the beginning of the Shoah.
Participants of the seminar reconstruct an “investigative team” to examine the attitudes of the non-Jewish perpetrators and witnesses based on police interrogation protocols of 1933 as well as the perspective of the Jews affected as expressed in contemporary video testimonies. The pupils present their findings in a virtual presentation and reflect upon their meaning as well as current significance.

(Grade 9 or older)

Telling after survival: women from Ravensbrück

By means of video-interviews with four women who were deported to Ravensbrück for various reasons, the participants deal with memories of the persecution and with aspects of telling: How do the survivors speak about the supervisors today? How do they remember the daily routine in the concentration camp and which roles do these experiences play later in life? The pupils explore memorabilia and relate them to the exhibition at the site of the perpetrators.

(Grade 9 or older)

'Jews are gone'. Deportation of Berlin Jews: reactions and decisions

The seminar focuses on the significance of deportations in the history of the persecution of Jews in Germany. In Berlin, the deportation of Jewish people to ghettos, concentration and death camps in Eastern Europe began in 1941. Destinations of the transports were Lodz, Minsk, Riga, Kowno, Warsaw and Auschwitz. The last "deportation wave" took place during the so-called "factory operation" in February 1943. Nevertheless, some Jews could go into hiding and survive until the end of the war.
By watching video interviews with Jewish people from Berlin, participants learn about individual life stories and deal with fundamental questions such as the knowledge of the German population and possible courses of action.

(Grade 10 or older)

The Warsaw Ghetto: Contrary Perspectives

Most of the well-known photographs from the Nazi ghettos were taken for propaganda purposes. Therefore, positions of the perpetrators still dominate images from the Warsaw Ghetto that pupils have from exhibitions, films, or school books.
The participants analyze visible and invisible sight lines at selected photographs and relate them to interview short films with survivors who report on the Warsaw Ghetto.

(Grade 10)

Survivors and Perpetrators in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial

By using the 1st Frankfurt Auschwitz trial (1963-65) as an example, the participants develop a historical knowledge of Auschwitz, the criminal proceedings that took place after 1945 and the active role survivors have played as witnesses. Based on trial testimony (audio sources) and video testimony, the pupils act as observers of the trial and afterwards present their findings in a radio feature.

The seminar can also be used to prepare or reinforce a visit to the Auschwitz Memorial.

(Grade 10 or older)


The seminars are held in the premises of the Topography of Terror. They include parts of the exhibition there and take around five hours to complete.


Online at the website of the Topography of Terror


Dorothee Wein
Email: lernen-mit-interviews@cedis.fu-berlin.de

Flyer for download (German)