During August 7-11, an international educational seminar for Ukrainian museum specialists and teachers was held in Berlin, organized by “Tkuma” Institute together with the Jewish Museum of Berlin with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine. The program of the seminar included meetings with employees of museum institutions in Berlin, discussion of methods of conducting educational classes on various historical topics, opportunities for cooperation.
The first stop on this educational route was the Jewish Museum of Berlin, where the participants had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Jewish history and culture by studying exhibits that talk about the life of the Jewish community in Germany in different eras. In addition to tours of the museum, Ukrainian educators met with employees of the Department of Education, who organized a number of educational activities. The main focus was on examining topics related to the history of the Holocaust and World War II, as well as finding answers to the question of how to conduct educational sessions about difficult pages of the past for different age groups. Yes, Oliver Glatz held the workshop “Anti-Semitism. Gossip about Jews”, during which participants visited the place of German schoolchildren and became participants in a discussion about what anti-Semitism is today and whether it is possible to overcome it. Diana Dressel and Ilona Yefimova presented the educational programs of the museum, talking, in particular, about digital projects on the history of the Holocaust, which can be used by Ukrainian museum workers and teachers. And the curator of the permanent exhibition Maren Kruger shared the method of conducting educational classes directly in the halls of the museum and showed how one small exhibit can tell about the tragedy of people during the years of the Holocaust.
During the seminar, educators visited the “Topography of Terror” museum, where they not only got acquainted with the main exposition, but also took part in an interactive session conducted by Kai Mueller, an employee of the education department. Analyzing archival photos dedicated to Nazi crimes, educators discovered new possibilities for interpreting visual sources from the history of Nazism.
In the German Historical Museum, the main exhibition of which is currently undergoing restoration, the participants visited the exhibition “Roads not Taken. Oder: Es hätte auch anders kommen können”, which, through a retrospective, gives a new perspective on key events in the history of Germany in the XIX- 20th century Such an unusual perspective for a historical museum, as the curators of the exhibition noted, allows you to see well-known facts in a new light and contributes to the understanding of the fundamental openness of history as the result of a complex of decisions, actions and inaction.
Ukrainian museum workers and teachers also got acquainted with the main exposition and educational programs of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which became a reminder of what human cruelty can lead to and why it is important to preserve the memory of the terrible events of the Holocaust. And also – they visited the House of the Wannsee Conference – the place where on January 20, 1942, a meeting of high-ranking Nazi officials was held to coordinate the actions of all structures responsible for the “final solution of the Jewish question.” The participants of “Tkuma” Institute seminar became the first group since 2019 to visit the Wannsee Conference House as part of the educational program.
Ukrainian teachers also shared with their German colleagues their experience of museum and educational activities, talked about the peculiarities of work now, in the conditions of Russia's war against Ukraine. In general, the seminar was an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the European experience of museum work, the latest approaches to the design of museum exhibits, learn about the methodology of conducting educational programs on the basis of museums and increase the level of professional knowledge.
Many thanks to our German colleagues for their hospitality! We are sure that our cooperation will continue in the future.