Additional information

For more educational material in preparation for a visit of the memorial please contact the visitor information.

Research within the framework of a preliminary visit to the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp Memorial. Photo: Claus Bach

Recommendations for your preparation

The concentration camp memorial is an extracurricular educational venue that puts you as a teacher in a special situation. You prepare your pupils for the visit, travel with them to the concentration camp memorial and, at the end of the programme, home again. In most cases, you are also solely responsible for the follow-up phase with the pupils.

During your visit to the memorial, on the other hand, you work with the members of the memorial’s educational staff and have to adapt quickly to a role different from the one you are accustomed to in the educational process. Please find below a number of pointers on preparing for this unaccustomed situation.

In preparation for your visit to the concentration camp memorial, we recommend that you

  • acquaint yourself with the site initially without your pupils and meet with us for a preliminary discussion. If it is not possible for you to come to the memorial for this purpose, a number of questions can be clarified within the framework of a detailed telephone conversation.
  • ask your pupils how they imagine and what they expect of the visit to the memorial. Please be advised that, here at the memorial, we attach importance to the pupils’ voluntary participation in all parts of the programme.
  • ask yourself what aims you associate with the visit and what expectations you have of us, of yourself, and of your pupils.
  • reflect on your role as accompanying teacher at the memorial. We see you as a partner in the educational process. Only you are familiar with the pupils and the respective group dynamic. In view of this circumstance, we would like to request that you inform us about particularities of your group and/or about any problems that arise in the period leading up to your visit.
  • talk to your pupils about the special character of a concentration camp memorial as a place of learning, a place of encounter, and a place of commemoration (cemetery).
  • convey to the pupils that they will not be exclusively passive listeners during their visit to the memorial. We quite deliberately try to enter into dialogue with the young people and ask them about their attitudes and opinions. Our questions are not intended as tests of the pupils’ knowledge, but as a way of triggering thought processes and discussion.
  • do not give your pupils any assignments asking them information on specific facts and events. The complex content we convey can easily get lost through the search for such information. We moreover do not want the pupils to concentrate on this sensitive topic solely with the aim of getting a good mark. It is our experience that young people respond to the memorial themes with interest even when they have not been given a specific work assignment.
  • encourage the pupils to come to the concentration camp memorial with their own questions. One means of preparation can be to have the pupils formulate their questions in class before the visit; these questions can then be answered during the visit.
  • plan sufficient time for your visit to the concentration camp memorial.