Learning with Documents
Archives are exciting places. They give direct insights into original sources, into history itself. Our online archives now provide access to these sources anytime and anywhere. The documents are valuable material for research-based learning because they can spark interest in individual victims of National Socialism, persecuted groups and the context of the Nazi period to the present day.
We develop educational offerings as well as supporting teachers and other educators in the work they do. Our approach is all about historico-political learning, multi-perspective education and cultivating a vibrant culture of remembrance. The victims and survivors of Nazi persecution are at the center of our work. The thematic focus is on the Holocaust, the genocide of the Sinti and Roma, the prisoners of the concentration camps and Nazi forced labor. The history of displaced persons and child survivors after 1945 and the history of tracing and documentation are also key topics.
Archives right now: our educational approach
Our educational work lies at the interface between memorial education and archive education, and we participate in the networks of both disciplines. We comply with the Recommendations for Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust issued by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The educational offerings of the Arolsen Archives all provide the practical expertise which is needed in order to be able to work independently with historical sources. And they provide information about Nazi persecution which is relevant to our own times. Our offerings include elements of inquiry-based/discovery learning, biographical learning and project-oriented learning. The analysis of historical sources is a demanding task, but it provides special opportunities for learning from the past and for acquiring analytical skills. We would like to highlight these opportunities, try them out and make them accessible in formats that can be used by people who do not have a comprehensive background knowledge in teaching or extracurricular education. We are trying out new digital methods with this aim in mind, using tools such as the e-Guide to provide fact-based historical information in a form which is easy to understand.
Please contact us…
- If you want to take part in a workshop or if you would like us to organize an event on your premises.
- If you would like to bring a group to Bad Arolsen for a supervised research visit.
- If you need advice on an educational project or remembrance work.
We support teachers in a variety of different ways. One of the things we do is to offer regular training courses to provide new ideas and fresh impetus for teaching history or politics. We often work with various partners and focus on different aspects in order to communicate knowledge about National Socialism, the Holocaust and its consequences. Contact us for the next dates and the latest topics.
The teaching materials we provide free of charge are another important component of our educational work. They contain practical tips and suggestions on how to use our documents to best effect in your learning group. The booklets are structured in such a way that you can pick out individual topics for your lessons. For example, in the publication on the deportations of the Jewish population you can find self-contained chapters on the deportation of Polish Jews in October 1938 or on the confiscation and “exploitation” of the property of the deportees.
You can also research in our Online Archive, of course. The online archive contains many millions of documents on the victims of Nazi persecution and Displaced Persons and makes them accessible to the public. We also recommend you use our e-Guide, which contains specially prepared, user-friendly information on the most important types of document.
We are happy to advise you on questions related to archive education. Contact us if you want to look into a specific aspect of National Socialist persecution more closely and are searching for suitable documents, for example. Or if you want to introduce a regional connection to give your pupils an easy way to approach the Nazi period. We can provide advice and support for all of your projects – whether you are working on a school project or on a special project such as the inauguration of a commemorative “Stolperstein” plaque or the German Federal President’s history competition. We also prepare document packages for project weeks. Just get in touch with us – we will do our best to help!
You are also warmly invited to book a free tour of our permanent exhibition, “A Paper Monument”, for your pupils. We can also offer optional educational workshops for your group in connection with the exhibition. Please contact us at email@example.com for more detailed information and to arrange a date.
Pupils can find many millions of documents on the victims of the Nazis in our Online Archive, including documents from concentration camps and documents about forced labor. However, the documents are not self-explanatory, so it is always worth consulting our e-Guide too. The e-Guide explains which information is contained in the most common types of documents and what this information means. The explanations are short and easy to understand.
Whether you are taking part in a project week or in a special program, such as the inauguration of a commemorative “Stolperstein” plaque or the history competition of the German Federal President, we are always happy to support school projects on National Socialism and on the victims of Nazi persecution. We can help you by carrying out research in our archival holdings or by providing educational advice. We provide under 20 pages of scanned material free of charge. Further copies of documents are available to pupils at half price, i.e. for 25 cents per page.
Yes, we look forward to hearing from you! As well as copies of publications for our library, we also enjoy receiving photos of your projects or any other documentation resulting from work with our documents. You are also welcome to send us links to websites. If you are happy for us to do so, we will share the results on our social media channels and mention your project there. Please send us your feedback by e-mailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, of course you can use the documents! However, they may contain data of a personal nature which must be treated sensitively. If we have sent you the documents, then you have already signed our user statement. This statement describes the legal basis for using material from our archive. We are happy for you to publish material from our archive. In order to receive documents for publication, please contact us via our contact form so that we can give our permission. Please also send us a request if you need high-resolution scans. We are pleased to provide high-resolution scans for a fee.
We believe that participating in joint projects in the field of education benefits all the parties involved and so we are very interested in participating in cooperative projects. We are happy to use our expertise in the field of archive education to run workshops, give lectures and design materials, learning environments, etc. Please contact us and tell us your ideas about how we can work together.