“Against Forgetting“ – study trip Görlitz – Auschwitz – Krakow – Dresden

This year, a visit to the Memorial Site Auschwitz will be offered again for young people between 15-17 years by the cooperating Lutheran Church Communities of Baumholder and Roxheim from September 29th to October 7th.

13 young people and 4 adults want to learn about and get an understanding of the history that happened over 70 years ago. To pursue this goal, an intense preparation before the visit itself is really important, so the group will study the Second World War and German Polish history, exchange experiences with visits to other Memorial Sites and learn about the town of Oświęcim.  Also, some information will be given about what the group should expect in Auschwitz.

Starting on September 29th, the group will first approach the topic in Görlitz/Zgorzele. They will learn about “Jewish Görlitz”, and also about what happened there during the time of the Third Reich, as the group will visit STALAG VIII A, a German prisoners of war camp during World War II.

Afterwards, the group will continue to travel to Oświęcim, to visit Auschwitz- Birkenau. At the Memorial Site, the group will get a grasp of the unreal reality of Auschwitz, and understand how the crimes that happened there can happen again.
There also will be a lot of room for further reflection and discussion about National Socialism, it`s racist ideology and consequences, in order to find answer to questions like:  What happened back then? How can we confront Antisemitism and Xenophobia today?

The group will also go to the town of Oświęcim, and learn about the town`s history and life at present, in order to realize that Oświęcim is more than just Auschwitz.

Additionally, the group will explore “Jewish Krakow”, where Jewish life was established for a long time until it`s brutal destruction during the Shoa.

On their journey back home, the group will visit the  Dresdner Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). After it`s reconstruction it became a symbol for peace in the whole world. At the same time, the visit to Dresden serves to underline the fatality of the war. The destruction of the town in February 1945 again illustrates the needless suffering of thousands of people.