Guided tour through the Memorial grounds for supporters of Hannover 96 football club, 2009. Photo by Jana Otto. Bergen-Belsen Memorial (Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation)
Education and Encounters
As a place of learning, the Memorial provides numerous opportunities to explore Bergen-Belsen’s history as a POW camp (1939-1945), concentration camp (1943-1945) and displaced persons camp (1945-1950) and the commemorative role that Bergen-Belsen has played since 1945. The Memorial offers a wide range of educational programmes, including guided tours, study days and seminars, projects with witnesses, work camps for young people and international exchanges as well as methodology workshops and training for educators, and partnerships with other memorials and educational institutions.
Educational work at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial focuses on personal testimonies from survivors of the POW and concentration camp. Exploratory learning opens a window onto the life stories of former prisoners and the history of Nazi crimes. The Memorial’s goal is to convey well-founded knowledge and encourage the development of reflective empathy and moral competence. Connections between the past and the present emphasise the ongoing relevance of Bergen-Belsen today.
The permanent exhibition in the Documentation Centre which opened in 2007 gives visitors access to documents, personal accounts, interviews and photographs for the purposes of exploratory learning, all of which are presented in their historical and biographical context. The exhibition is rounded out by multimedia workstations, a reference library and the Memorial’s extensive collection of resources.
Since the Bergen-Belsen Memorial began receiving regular funding from the German Federal Government in 2009, it has continued to develop its historical and political education programme to make it more sustainable and internationally compatible and to meet the needs of its specific target groups.