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"Live with the Questions"
When I was fourteen years old, the son of a Holocaust survivor spoke to my class about his mother’s survival. This experience sparked a life-long study of the Holocaust that led me to Dachau, Germany where I worked, as an educator, in the former concentration camp—now called a memorial site.
The most meaningful and lasting aspects of my work are the relationships formed with survivors. Projects to document history, including interviews, allowed me to learn directly from them—not only about their experiences during the war, but valuable life lessons. For example, that active participation through community engagement, education and voting is critical for a healthy democracy. Many survivors expressed that sharing their stories with young people who were committed to understanding what happened during the Nazi period was not only beneficial, but healing. These inspiring relationships were sparked by a shared desire to make the world a better place and a unique example of how powerful mentoring can be.
In my recent TEDx talk, Be Kinder, I share my story, and explain how exploring the Holocaust caused me to wonder about kindness and compassion, which I'm convinced can be cultivated through intergenerational mentoring. http://www.tedxhamburg.de/be-kinder-jennifer-wood-at-tedxhamburg-urban-connectors
Visit Memorials is a new learning community that documents how to effectively learn about the Holocaust from the memorials, and authentic historical sites across Europe. Cultivating communities of compassion and empathy are also part of our goal. http://visitmemorials.wordpress.com
I hold a M.Ed. in International Education and am a qualified ESL teacher with 8+ years of teaching experience, mostly in Germany, but also in the U.S. and Africa. I grew up on the West Coast of the U.S. and am currently based in Berlin. More on my experiences as an educator at the Dachau memorial: http://dachauisalsoatown.wordpress.com
All the posts about young people mentoring technology make me wonder about reading, so I did a search today on "intergenerational book clubs". I've often benefited from discussing a book with someone more experienced. What can young people contribute
Kate, the Memory Loops project might be interesting for you to take a look at: http://www.memoryloops.net/en#!/start/ This site/app offers historical audio clips for Nazi/WWII history in Munich (in English & German).