04/22/2022 News

Call for Participation: Looking Back, Around and Ahead – 40 Years of International Workcamps

It has been three years since the last analogue international work camp at the Neuengamme concentration camp memorial. This year, the camp, which is traditionally held annually, will once again take place in analogue form. We hope for participants from many countries.

During World War II, the Neuengamme Concentration Camp was expanded to become the central concentration camp in northwest Germany with more than 85 subcamps. As a result of the principle of "extermination through labor" pursued by the SS, nearly half of the total of about 100,000 prisoners deported from all over Europe died. Today, the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial is a place of remembrance, information, education and research. It is also the result of political disputes from the post-war period to the present. For decades, the site was home to two prisons, making most of the grounds inaccessible to the public. The first work camp in 1982 laid out the first trails and erected information boards.

Study Theme
40 years after the first international work camp took place at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, this anniversary will be taken as an opportunity to look back on the history of the international youth work camps at the concentration camp memorial. The traces left by the work camps on the grounds, in the archives and among the participants will be searched for. These will be documented with photos, clips, interviews and reports from participants. Together, an online presentation of the results will be developed. There is the possibility to write articles about the camp in the local newspaper. In addition, there is the possibility of an archaeological project to conduct search excavations for foundations that recently became visible after heavy storms.

The main topic will be the history of the Neuengamme concentration camp and the debates and disputes concerning the establishment of the Memorial site.  There will be talks to experts and to representatives of the second generation. A video call with a survivor is also planned.  There will be exchange on various perspectives of the participants on the time of World War II and debates on what and why and how we remember today. Another focus will be documenting the history of the workcamps at the Concentration Camp Memorial.

20. August - 3. September 2022

Accommodation and food 
The participants are accommodated in rooms and tents. At previous workcamps, all participants were accommodated in rooms. This year, because of the pandemic, tents will also be used for accommodation to minimize the risk of infection. Cooking and eating will take place in large tents. The accommodation is located on the grounds of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.

Good knowledge of English and/or German is required for communication, the work- and studypart. Above that interest in the history of National Socialism and self-initiative. The common language will be English, which means that a good knowledge of English is a prerequisite for participation.

To minimize the risk of infection with Covid, the work camp will be conducted under 2G rules. I.e. participants must be fully vaccinated with the vaccines accepted in Germany and provide proof of this. In addition, we plan to test ourselves daily for the first three days, then every two days. To increase the protection of all participants, a negative covid-test (no self-test)  is expected prior to arrival. (Regardless of the legal requirements then in effect). Please inform yourself about the vaccination and testing requirements for entry into Germany: https://t1p.de/at82o

More information and registration:  SCI International Voluntary Projects