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Students of MSU majoring in History visited former Nazi concentration camps

Students of Mariupol State University majoring in History visited Germany in the framework of the third stage of the Ukrainian-Polish-German youth project "History Begins in the Family". The organizers of the project were the International NGO Osnovy Svobody together with the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim (Poland) and the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation / Bergen-Belsen Memory Museum (Germany).

4th year students majoring in History Anton Samoilenko, Alexandra Vorotilova and Victoria Oros, together with associate professor of the Department of Historical Sciences Svetlana Arabadzhy visited the Anne Frank House in Oldau, Germany, where they learned about the history of the foundation and the peculiarities of the work of Bergen- Belsen memorial. The participants to the project expanded their knowledge of the events of the Second World War, learned about the main stages of the process of transformation of the camp for the Belgian and French prisoners of war into a concentration camp, visited the railway and historic memorial "Bergen-Belsen", learned the features of the installation of a display of the exhibition on camp history.


Students could understand better the extent of the tragedy watching a documentary video depicting the camp liberation, the burial of victims and treatment of survived prisoners. It was very important for historians to get an experience in oral history in Bergen-Belzen and in interviewing witnesses of events. In addition, project participants had the opportunity to chat with a man who participated in liberation of a concentration camp while serving in the British army.


Before the trip to Germany, an interim meeting was held in Kyiv where the project participants discussed totalitarian regime in Soviet times, Nazi crimes during the occupation of the Ukrainian lands and the Holocaust. Thus, the youth was morally prepared to visit the place of memory. The participants also visited the Branch State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, got acquainted with its history, structure, main funds, and were able to work with archives.


While participating in the project, students majoring in "History" were able to deepen and consolidate knowledge of a number of disciplines, improve the skills of working with oral history, and to deepen the understanding of the need to protect human rights for the prevention of crimes against humanity which was the most important.


Upon returning from Germany, students shared their experiences with their colleagues from junior high school.



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