Explore the stories of Jewish schoolchildren in Berlin with a smartphone

How did Jewish children and young people in Berlin feel during the Nazi era? Where did they go to school? What did their day-to-day lives look like in the face of increasingly strict anti-Jewish legislation? With “Marbles of Remembrance” on their smartphone, anyone can set off and search for their traces in Berlin.

Berlin is full of history and stories. Some of them are well known and have left an indelible mark on the cityscape. Others are hidden – like the fates of many Jewish children and young people who lived here during the Nazi era and tried as hard as they could to survive. Five multimedia walking tours take participants to places where Jewish life took place in Berlin and tell the stories of schoolchildren in the Nazi era. “Marbles of Remembrance,” a multimedia educational resource, can be accessed in the ad-free berlinHistory app free of charge.

Marbles have stood the test of time as a popular children’s toy and can be seen as symbolizing memory. One of the walking tours tells the story of Zvi Aviram. Until his parents were deported in 1943, Zvi lived with his family in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. With support from some friends, he went into hiding at the age of 16 and joined a resistance group. Although he was arrested by the Nazis on a number of occasions, he survived the Nazi era. After the war, he emigrated to Palestine.

 

 

Users can learn more about Zvi’s life story on a tour through Prenzlauer Berg. The four other tours are routed through the Mitte, Wilmersdorf, and Schöneberg districts. They tell the stories of other Jewish children and young people who went into hiding in Berlin, were taken away from Germany, or were murdered in the Holocaust during the Nazi era.

 

Screenshot from Marbles of Remembrance in the berlinHistory app.
Zvi Aviram’s student card (Heinz Abrahamsohn) from the holdings of the Arolsen Archives.

Interactive tours

Three of the five tours have been designed as knowledge quizzes. At each stop on the tour, users can answer questions about Jewish life in Berlin or about the lives of the individual pupils before continuing their tour at the next stop.

The tours, which are available in English and in German, are aimed at young people aged 14 and over who want to learn more about Jewish history in Berlin. They are suitable for school groups, but also for adults or families.

 

Interact with history

 

»The power of digital technologies enables us to use a multi-media approach and find innovative ways of telling the stories of Nazi persecutees on the basis of the documents in our archive. Our educational resource ‘Marbles of Remembrance’ helps people to experience history and stories in everyday places and allows new perspectives to be combined with existing knowledge about persecution during the Nazi era at an intuitive level.«

Birthe Pater, Head of Education at the Arolsen Archives

 

The interactive functions of “Marbles of Remembrance” promote self-directed engagement with the Holocaust and with Berlin’s urban history and the destruction of Jewish life there.

 

»We’ve grown up with the Internet and with smartphones – and that’s how we get most of our information. Direct communication on social media platforms is part of everyday life and learning. […] This way, you experience history on a more direct, more emotional level.«

Nina Hentschel, co-founder & CMO at Fabular.ai

 

Documents from the Arolsen Archives provide the basis

This educational project is based on the card file of the Reich Association of Jews, which – at the behest of the Gestapo – registered all German Jews. The card file is stored in the Arolsen Archives and contains a special collection of around 10,000 so-called student cards produced by the Jewish Community Berlin from the early 1920s onwards. These cards are often the last traces of Jewish students before their deportation and murder in the Holocaust. That makes them important documents of remembrance. The team from fabular.ai used these student cards to create a tour of Berlin from the perspective of Jewish children during the Nazi period.

 

“Marbles of Remembrance” is a joint project developed by the Arolsen Archives and fabular.ai – de Araújo, Hentschel & Blonska GbR. The project is funded by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ).

 

Contact details for the Education Unit
education@arolsen-archives.org

 

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