Fighting against Antisemitism in Europe
Three different groups, three different countries and a worrying trend. The anti-semitism in Europe seemed to have awoken again and he found and finds his followers
in the most different layers of our society. A topic that about 30 young people from Germany, Poland and Russia have discussed in the summer of 2019 at a youth meeting in Warsaw. Through
presentations, reports, the exchange with professionals working on these important topics and a visit to the former concentration camp in Auschwitz, they have been sensitized to the topic of
anti-semitism and its history in Europe, such as the Reichspogromnacht. But also the everyday hatred against Jews in the nations of the participating organizations in recent years was and will be
discussed. It is very important for young people to share their experiences so that they can strengthen their own point of view and their European values. After the international meeting, the
groups have been developing their own projects at the local level and continue to work intensively on the topic. The young people have continued their education and developed methods to
counteract anti-semitism and exclusion while strengthening the understanding of other cultures. In February 2020 there has been another meeting in Hattingen between the three partner
organizations, where the results of the local work have been presented to the public again at the Kultopia in Hagen. The final phase of the project was addressed to the youth who have working on
the local projects during the autumn of 2019, because in the last phase of the project the results will be made accessible to other youth work organizations in Europe, for others to sensitize
young people and to immunize them against anti-semitism. Sensitization and immunization, from our point of view, play a major role, as anti-semitism also contributes to the loss of common
The purpose of this website is, as the previous text implies, to share the results of the workshops during the projects different phases as well as the results of the partaking organizations so that other organizations from our network as well as other youth organizations and NGOs all over europe can see how they could work on the topics of anti-semitism and culture of remembrance. Feel free to use these ideas to your liking, but make sure to share the results with us!
First Meeting in Krakow, Poland
Local Projects in Poland, Russia and Germany
Poland - Europe4youth
During the first part of the exchange “Remembrance Culture – Fighting against Anti-Semitism in Europe” a Polish team was conducting a research. The main part was connected to the issue of tolerance in Poland. When the project finished, the group continued to collect information. Having gained interesting results, they decided to present them to a broader audience. In order to do so, Polish team prepared a conference under the name Czym jest tolerancja? (What is tolerance?). To reach more people, the team created not only leaflets and posters but also a Facebook event.
Conference took part on 30th November 2019 in Krakow and attracted a lot of attention of citizens. To begin with, the team presented the results of questionnaires which were conducted on the streets of Krakow as well as online. In general, the survey gave the idea about the attitude of people living in Poland toward tolerance and their personal experiences with intolerant behaviour. After the presentation, the team started a discussion with the audience, when everyone could share their opinions and experiences. After that, one of the team members leaded a short lecture about the issue of Anti-Semitism in Poland, which was also followed by a debate between the audience and organizers. At the end everyone could share their knowledge and personal experiences connected to issues presented during the conference. At the end of the event all the guest could enjoy delicious food and healthy drinks.
The main idea of the event was to increase awareness of people about the level of intolerance in Poland, especially in the case of Anti-Semitism. It could help the audience to realise that the problem is still on and need to be deal with.
Russia - Academy of innovation
During the intermediate phase of the project “Remembrance culture - Fighting against Antisemitism in Europe” the participants of the Russian group implemented several activities on the local level in the city of Krasnodar.
The first step was to disseminate the results of the first project phase in Krakow to the members and volunteers of the organization “Academy of innovation”. Together we watched the video of the performance which was developed by the theatre workshop during the meeting in Krakow and had a discussion about it. The participants of the project also shared their experience and emotions after visiting the concentration lager Auschwitz-Birkenau with the others. Apart from that sharing the information gathered during the first part of the project was another big part of the first part of dissemination. The meeting was followed by an extensive reflection for all participants.
After that the people involved in our theatre group worked on the topics of discrimination and antisemitism with children and teenagers which were 10-16 years of age for about 10 hours. After giving them informations on the topics and sharing experiences with them, there was a discussion and some exercises which are also used in the field of theatre training the youngsters developed a performance regarding these topics and showed it to an audience. Their performance was followed by yet another discussion with the people who were invited to the show.
Another action took place as the participants organized and implemented the simulation game “Concentration lager” developed by one of the participants for college students. The simulation game was aimed to raise awareness of discrimination, antisemitism and human rights. After the simulation, there was a discussion and reflection about the feelings and emotions, sharing personal experiences in the field of discrimination and antisemitism and discussing the ways of defining and preventing it. But before the event took place, the simulation game was tried on the team members separately and they discussed the ways of implementing it on different groups and ages of youth.
Germany - East West East Germany e.V.
In the local part of the project 30 young people from Hagen worked on telling a family story in the multimedia music theatre play "Zeitlos", which could have taken place anywhere in Germany: In a touching way they give the audience an insight into the horrors of the persecution and extermination of Jews in the 3rd Reich and show the suffering of the surviving relatives. At the same time, they draw a bow to the present day and show how strongly anti-Semitic and racist attitudes are still present in our society. In 5 months, the students have worked on a multimedia music theatre piece on the topic of anti-Semitism and remembrance culture with the team members in the artistic workshops and further education courses at the Kultopia youth culture centre and the Jewish Community of Hagen. This meant first of all dealing in workshops with historical information on the history of anti-Semitism and the events of the Reich Pogrom Night, perceiving the motives of the perpetrators, then and now, and the consequences for the victims, dealing with structures of collective violence, also in relation to today, and with the question of what all this has to do with their lives. In the next step, the young people wrote their own songs on the topic, developed theatre scenes and film contributions, which brought them together in a musical theatre piece that was performed in January 2020. The project combines cognitive workshop forms for conveying background information and historical-political contexts with the emotional experience that arises from "putting oneself in" different roles. With this play, the young people demonstrate emphatically that everyone must stand up and take a stand against anti-Semitism and racism so that the Shoah is not repeated.
A project of East West East Network. in cooperation with: Jewish Community Hagen, Youth Cultural Center Kultopia Hagen, Community Integration Center. The project was supported by the Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Final Meeting in Welper, Germany
In February 2020 there was the Final Meeting in Hattingen between the three partner organizations, where the results of the local work were presented to the public again. The final phase of the project in the form as a seminar was addressed to the youth work forces who have worked with the young participants during the local projects, because in the last phase of the project the results were made applicable to other youth work organizations in Europe, for others to sensitize young people and to immunize them against anti-semitism. Sensitization and immunization, from our point of view, play a major role, as antisemitism also contributes to the loss of common European values.