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Exercising democracy with secondary witnesses

A project from ZWEITZEUGEN e.V.
in Bünde, Germany

With your donation you support our association‘s work for a diverse society. For 2022 it is our goal to teach more children and teenagers how to be secondary witnesses so they can join in our commitment against racism, antisemitism and oblivion.

Lena Hartmann
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About this project

With your donation you support our association‘s work for a diverse society. For 2022 it is our goal to teach more children and teenagers how to be secondary witnesses so they can join in our commitment against racism, antisemitism and oblivion.

„Vivid memories of the Holocaust and the undergone fates strengthen our society‘s capability of resistance. We strive to achieve that our generation and the generations to come carry the story of those who have survived in their hearts and into society.“
  • Board of ZWEITZEUGEN e.V.

Interviews in which people who have survived the Holocaust and National Socialism entrust us with their life stories are documented by us. Saving them from oblivion and drawing conclusions for today is our intention. As secondary witnesses we talk about  those by now 37 life stories in a personal and empathetic way. It is not only the period of the Holocaust itself we talk about but all the life experiences our interview partners own. Furthermore, anecdotes, videos and pictures of the contemporary witnesses offer a chance to the young people to feel close to them, to identify with them and to feel the strength and the bravery to live on themselves. Those who have survived become role models and support the high relevance of their stories for the here and now. 

In our workshops children and teenagers have written 4500 letters to contemporary witnesses so far. The teenage girl Selin wrote this letter to the 95 year old Holocaust survivor Erna de Vries after she had heard her story:

„Dear Erna, I feel really sorry about how you had to live as a child. I wish something like that had never happened so you would still have parents. I hope that at least you are well now and have a beautiful and healthy family. I know about your life now, so I am an expert of your story now. I wish you all the best.“

ZWEITZEUGEN e.V. gives workshops in educational institutions, publishes interview magazines and organises events/presentations and exhibitions. 

For educating the children and teenagers we have developed a large pool of didactic material as well as a film and additional graphical material.

Children, teenagers and adults can listen to and feel with the interviewed person and thus become secondary witnesses. Together we work out ways to actively countervail racism and antisemitism in everydaylife. 

About

betterplace.org is the largest German donation platform. Since 2007 we have been helping people, aid organizations and companies to do good. All projects on betterplace.org are non-profit. Since we ourselves also do not work for profit, our platform is free of charge for the projects.
2007founded
12,500non-profit organisations
185m €for a good cause
Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft (Logo)

With your donation you support our association‘s work for a diverse society. For 2022 it is our goal to teach more children and teenagers how to be secondary witnesses so they can join in our commitment against racism, antisemitism and oblivion.

About this project

Lena Hartmann Write a message

What is needed

About

betterplace.org is the largest German donation platform. Since 2007 we have been helping people, aid organizations and companies to do good. All projects on betterplace.org are non-profit. Since we ourselves also do not work for profit, our platform is free of charge for the projects.
2007founded
12,500non-profit organisations
185m €for a good cause
Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft (Logo)