Students Help with Maintenance at the Mauthausen Memorial
Every year since 1980, the Berlin Knobelsdorff School has been carrying out structural maintenance work at the Mauthausen Memorial in cooperation with the Berlin regional association of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. (Federation of German War Graves Commission).
This year was no exception and a group of students from the Berlin Knobelsdorff School aged between 18 and 24 came to the Mauthausen Memorial, where they learned about National Socialist tyranny and the biographies of the victims of the former Mauthausen concentration camp with a special focus on ‘Past Fates and Present Memory Culture(s)’.
This year, 13 carpenters and four stonemasons participated in the programme. They renovated the windows in the laundry barracks and repointed the brickwork on the GDR Memorial. In addition, they went on excursions to firms based in the area and visited the restoration workshops of the Austrian Federal Monuments Office at the Mauerbach Charterhouse.
As part of their educational programme devised by the Mauthausen Memorial team, the young people were able to explore the Mauthausen Memorial independently and select and photograph specific sites, which were then incorporated into a guided tour that also included preparatory and follow-up discussions.
During their stay, the young people were given the opportunity to engage critically with the history of the Mauthausen Memorial on the one hand and, on the other, to learn how to treat others in the group with respect and resolve conflicts amicably. “This makes peace education one of the characteristics of residential visits by the Berlin Knobelsdorff School, which ties in with the pedagogical focus of education work at the Mauthausen Memorial”, explained Gudrun Blohberger, Director of Education at the Mauthausen Memorial.