A teaching site with a history of its own

Students at the "Fascination and Terror" exhibition.

Programs at the Study Forum ...

 

... put the focus on location

As the Nazi dictatorship recedes into the past, historical sites become more and more significant. For those with no personal connection to the era, these exceptionally authentic structural testaments provide a readily understandable focus for remembrance. The educational programs that complement the exhibitions, in parallel with the permanent exhibition, are tailored to the history of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. They put special emphasis on how to "read" the site – deciphering and demythologizing it, and contrasting the Documentation Center's own "architecture of opposition" to the Nazi architecture and its monumentality. The relationship to the site itself is an important educational resource here, providing a continuous theme and – in more senses than one – a foundation for the educational programs. The Documentation Center protects remembrance from dissipating into generalization, and offers special opportunities as an extracurricular learning site. As a place of remembrance that is nevertheless not a direct memorial to the era's victims, it offers a unique perspective.

... link to the present in a historical setting

The starting point here is teaching about the Nazi Party Rally Grounds as an architecture of domination, and about the Party Rallies as a central mass propaganda event under National Socialism – all based on a foundation of current research. The programs and exhibitions offer visitors a chance to see the context in which a democratic society became a society of radical exclusion, to understand the realities of life under these conditions, and to gauge what action might have been possible. On the basis of that critical historical awareness, the connection with the present encourages the ability to make distinctions, and to take action. Both of these serve to help people understand democracy and human rights, and to promote tolerance and civil courage. The historical view is complemented with approaches that take multiple perspectives and explore the history of socially imprinted attitudes or "mentalities."

... appeal to every age group and every ethnic and educational background

The exhibits' interactive format is tailored to a wide variety of target groups. An experienced, dedicated team supports access to the topic with a cognitive approach that leaves room for frank dialog and questions. Diverse educational options at the Study Forum encourage visitors to work out their own thoughts about the history of National Socialism and promote a lasting gain in understanding. A variety of media and methods help build skills in comprehending history. The center's partners at the Study Forum cooperate in the dynamic process of a constantly evolving culture of remembrance and a changing society.