Difficult history unites the youth
The intercultural exchange and learning about the difficult history of World War II was the goal of Polish and German youth while visiting the State Museum at Majdanek.
On March 25-28, we hosted youth from Gymnasium Bethel in Bielefeld and High School No. 5 of Maria Skłodowska-Curie in Lublin. The students participated in a Polish-German project commemorating the victims of the German Nazi concentration camp at Majdanek. The program included visiting the site of the former camp, watching video reports of former Majdanek prisoners and working with artifacts entitled ‘The Art of Storytelling, stories Hidden in Museum Exhibits’. During the classes, students collected information based on source texts, literature and archival documents.
An interesting point of the visit was a workshop dealing with reading one of the types of handwritten Old German writing (currents). The youth received a copy of a letter from a former prisoner of Majdanek, Kurt Wojciech Szczudło, as well as auxiliary tables with German neo-Gothic letters and their contemporary counterparts. Then the students transcribed the contents of the letter with the assistance of the person conducting the class. Next, participants were also acquainted with the daily newspaper Jadwiga Ankiewicz. The most important part of the program was a conversation with a former Majdanek prisoner- Zdzisław Badio, who talked about the camp reality, the conditions under which he was to function, and the relations between the prisoners. The students' stay ended with a joint presentation of the results of the work and their personal reflections on the visit.