Memory 4.0 - an online educational tool for international youth groups
Memory 4.0 is a set of lesson scenarios and online learning materials prepared in English by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. It is dedicated to the fate and persecution of the various groups deported to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.
The project is primarily aimed at teachers and educators who have visited the Memorial with their students. The lesson plans prepared for them are based on various sources. Their analysis provides a basis for reflecting on the persecution and discrimination people encounter.
‘Our package can be used both to complement a visit to the former camp site and as the basis for a self-study lesson on persecution in Nazi Germany and the history of Auschwitz. Additionally, the format of the materials makes them suitable for use with other groups, and their online availability also provides an opportunity for self-education,’ said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the ICEAH.
The package consists of six related lessons. They comprise the following: an introduction; persecution of Poles and people of other nationalities as political prisoners; racial persecution of Jews, racial persecution of Sinti and Roma; other types of persecution, and a summary.
‘The lessons include scenarios and exercises using working methods such as brainstorming, group work, analysis of source material, and project method work. Each lesson is accompanied by a guide for the educator, including assumptions, objectives, workflow and content and didactic recommendations. The package structure allows it to be implemented as a whole or to use individual lessons to complement other activities,’ said Nataliia Tkachenko, ICEAH, co-author of the package.
In each lesson, personal documents of prisoners produced by the camp administration are juxtaposed with excerpts from the accounts of Survivors who recount their personal experiences. The stories were chosen to show the broadest possible variety of camp experiences. The sources are supplemented by historical descriptions prepared based on studies by historians of the Auschwitz Memorial and other researchers.
‘The interdisciplinary approach allows us to look at historical facts and the educator's working methods from a slightly different perspective. In our educational activities, it is essential to restore the subjectivity of people marked by the nightmarish experience of Auschwitz, to tell their story through the prism of identity and personal experience. This philosophy is also reflected in the Memory 4.0 project,’ emphasised Nataliia Tkachenko.
The final part of the package - the summary - also raises important questions about the role and significance of history in the contemporary world. It is intended to inspire participants to carry out original activities to discover and preserve the memory of various discriminated social groups and to counteract discrimination today.
The Memory 4.0 project is available free of charge in digital form. The project was developed in partnership with Arolsen Archives and was funded by the EVZ Foundation and the German MFA within the framework of the programme YOUNG PEOPLE remember.