CfA: Nazi Forced Labor. History and Aftermath

Call for applications, deadline 10 January 2021

The third edition of the winter school goes digital. It will provide a forum for educators who want to exchange ideas on methods and teaching practices on the topic of Nazi forced labor and its memory in postwar Europe from a transnational perspective. The winter school will also focus on how educators can use the documents archived at the Arolsen Archives, which comprise among others multi-million page collections of records on forced labor, including the situation of Displaced Persons after liberation. Furthermore, the participants will have the opportunity to develop a teaching unit, a workshop, or a presentation in small international teams, using the material and digital tools provided by the Arolsen Archives and the Nazi Forced Labor Documentation Centre. The compiled output could be used in their own work with pupils, students or adults.

Context: During the Second World War, millions of forced laborers had to work in the German Reich and in the occupied territories. They were drafted to work in the armaments industry, in communal institutions and even on farms. In most cases, they suffered a severe deprivation of their rights by regulations and contractual conditions, were accommodated in barracks, malnourished and held back from returning to their home countries during the war. Forced laborers came from all across Europe and, at the war’s end, they were trapped within the territory of the “Third Reich” facing an uncertain future. Many of them decided or were forced to go back home, to the societies that often identified with the victors of the war and were embarrassed by a large number of “collaborators” who had to work for the enemy's war industry. Quite a big number of former forced laborers did not return, but emigrated to a third country.
The key topics of this winter school are: (1) to discuss contemporary challenges facing history educators, with particular emphasis on teaching the history and memory of forced labor; (2) to familiarize the participants with teaching and research methods on forced labor and to exchange experiences about using digital tools; (3) to explore the documentation of the Arolsen Archives and to identify the material that offers particularly rich opportunities for new educational projects (4); and to encourage the exchange of ideas for partnered projects between the winter school participants.
In the light of the current coronavirus crisis, distant learning methods have become crucial. Thus during the winter school special emphasis will be given to exchanging relevant ideas and exploring digital tools.

Participants: 15 junior educators (teachers, trainers, museum/memorial site workers, advanced students in Public History and other relevant disciplines) from Europe and Israel.
The participants will be asked to actively participate in the discussions and should be willing to develop a teaching unit or a different output with other participants. The language of the winter school is English.

Organizers: International Youth Meeting Centre at the Nazi Forced Labor Documentation Centre is located on the grounds of an almost completely intact former forced labor camp in Berlin built in 1943 in an industrial district for over 2,100 people. The exhibitions, archives and educational programs of the Documentation Centre focus on a forgotten victim group: about 8.4 million civilian laborers from all over Europe forced to work for the Nazi regime during the Second World War.

The Arolsen Archives are an international center on Nazi persecution with the world's most comprehensive archive on the victims and survivors of National Socialism. The collection has information on about 17.5 million people and belongs to the UNESCO's Memory of the World. It contains documents on the various victim groups targeted by the Nazi regime and is an important source of knowledge for society today. Most of the holdings are available in an online archive on the internet.

Application: Please send a short CV and a motivation letter (max. 1 page) together in one PDF) to Please describe in your motivation letter whether you have any experience with teaching the topic of forced labor, and if you have used methods and tools for distant learning in your work. You should also briefly outline your ideas concerning the output of the winter school.

The application deadline is January, 10th 2021. The decisions will be made soon after. The participants will be informed beginning of February 2021.