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Our Style of Working

For us, learning from history means using the history of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp as a basis for establishing "what one should not do" (Volkhard Knigge) – as a society, as part of an institution, as an individual. At the same time, we wish to foster sensitivity for the point at which violence and exclusion, racism and anti-Semitism begin – and an understanding that one cannot avoid taking a stand when confronted with such situations.

The picture shows four employees of the Education Department in front of the black facade of the reconstructed accommodation barracks.
The staff of the education department, 2022. Photo: Lukas Severin Damm.

Our overarching educational goal is to strengthen a critical, reflective awareness of history. In order to achieve this goal, our teaching approach has three levels:

What do we teach?

We teach about the historical location. We supplement a walk through the physical site and its building remnants with additional historical sources in digitized form: documents, photographs, drawings, found objects, personal memories, and interviews with survivors are available on tablets to those participating our educational programmes basically any time. 

Why did this happen?

We investigate the causes of the events and explore the historical context. In the process, we situate the historical events within the overarching social structures of National Socialist Germany and its underlying ideology.

How do I evaluate this?

We encourage participants not only to take in historical facts and contributing contexts, but also to evaluate them. We offer moderated discussion rounds on selected issues as a means of fostering personal processes of understanding. The insights gained from such an experience can potentially offer guidance for other issues that participants may face in the near or distant future.

Things we would like you to know:

  • In order to have historical sources accessible at all times, we are equipped with multiple sets of tablets for school classes. The tablets offer a variety of further possibilities, especially for participants' independent project work. In addition, results from working processes at the memorial site can be further used after groups return from their visit. We welcome suggestions for better integrating the preparation and follow-up for your time at the memorial.
  • All educational offerings are fundamentally based on multiple perspectives. Concentration camp prisoners, guards, and stakeholders from the broader social context are presented as individuals situated in a specific historical context and having their own scope for agency.
  • We are guided by the prohibition against indoctrinating and overpowering students, as formulated in the Beutelsbach Consensus.
  • The above-mentioned levels two and three require us to set a minimum participant age. We welcome young people from grades nine and above.


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