Memory and Totalitarianism Germany, Poland, Italy student exchange project 22-28 September 2021, Krakow, Poland
“Memory and Totalitarianism” project was a six-day meeting of student youth from Germany, Poland, and Italy, the aim of which was to deepen the knowledge of young people about the Holocaust and the occupation of Polish lands by Nazi Germany during World War II and to interpret this tragic period in a contemporary way in relation to problems occurring in the world such as human rights violations, exclusion, xenophobia or manifestations of discrimination. The project was possible thanks to the funding of the German-Polish Youth Office: Polsko-Niemiecka Współpraca Młodzieży PNWM, Deutsch-Polnisches Jugendwerk, DPJW, programme: Wege Zur Erinnerung, Zachować Pamięć, https://pnwm.org
The program consisted of two parts: the greater part covered historical knowledge about the period of National Socialism and the period of World War II. The background for these considerations were be visits to memorial sites: Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945); exploring the grounds of the former Krakow Jewish Ghetto (1941-1943), visiting the Oskar Schindler museum and the grounds of the former concentration camp in Płaszów.
The main goal of Polish-German youth cooperation in this project was to get to know each other between young Poles and Germans and Italians, to break stereotypes, and to learn about stories of fundamental importance for the history of our countries and nations. The main goal of the project was also to preserve the memory of the tragic events of World War II and the crimes committed in Poland. The production of film reportage on this subject was a great task, which in an attractive way mobilised young people to systematize their knowledge, prepare film statements, gave the opportunity to share their personal feelings from participation in such a special youth exchange project. The making of the film also taught young people the elements of the film language and drew their attention to the specificity of this message. Therefore, the joint production of a film report by young people from the three participating countries fulfilled its task, being a great challenge for mutual cooperation.