The #everynamecounts project launched by the Arolsen Archives has been recognized by the anniversary initiative of the Stifterverband — the “donors’ association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany” — as one of the 100 best ideas for the future of education, science, and innovation. #everynamecounts was chosen from over 500 applications received by the organization.

Thanks to funding provided by the Stifterverband, an interactive, digital tutorial for students and teaching staff is now being created to complement the #everynamecounts citizen science project, which got off to a very successful start following its launch in January 2020.

Working with original documents in a digital environment initiates a learning process that goes beyond traditional analog forms of history teaching. When young people get to know the real people behind some of the millions of names in the files on Nazi crimes, the victims of these crimes and the sheer dimensions of Nazi persecution become more tangible. Transcribing the names of specific individuals along with other pieces of biographical information about their lives and their persecution brings the horror of the crimes that were done to them right before our eyes – a process of remembrance that is both active and future-oriented at the same time, as the names will remain searchable online on a permanent basis.

As well as learning about history, participants also gain technical and practical insights into the work of a modern digital archive and the challenges this work involves. As citizen scientists, they also make a very real contribution to preserving our cultural heritage and help make it accessible to the wider public.

The “Wirkung Hoch 100” initiative (English: Impact to the Power of 100)

The call for proposals for this initiative was issued in connection with the centenary of the German Stifterverband, an organization that was founded in 1920 with the aim of raising funds for research and teaching. At the end of the 1960s, the Stifterverband began to launch more and more funding programs of its own to provide impetus for the future development of the sciences and humanities. The Stifterverband uses a holistic strategy here to achieve sustainable success. The key themes are education, research, and innovation.

The organization’s approach provides the opportunity for intensive dialogue with stakeholders from a wide range of different fields and an unbiased outside perspective. Financial support is not the only benefit for the Arolsen Archives. Another important aspect is the ability to access a large network in order to exchange ideas and information with others and find potential cooperation partners and new communication channels. We look forward to working with the Stifterverband and are very grateful to have been selected for this funding program!

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