Since March, we have been working with secondary schools to run educational workshops to introduce schoolchildren to the history of children who were " stolen" by the Nazis during World War II and taken to Germany for Germanisation. So far, over 300 students have taken part in the workshops.
We planned that in the first stage of the project we would focus on presenting the story that took place almost 80 years ago. Only during subsequent meetings will we talk to young people about how they see these events and how they interpret, among other things, the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, Article II, letter e of which states that "forcibly transferring children of a group to another group" is genocide.
We did not think that the current situation unfolding in Ukraine would show how up-to-date this topic is. For it is with increasing concern that we observe that the Russian state decides to sanction a succession of crimes against the Ukrainian population. Children, the most defenceless victims of any conflict, from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine are being taken deep into Russia, where they are put up for adoption.
As educators, we have little influence on the course of these events, nor on the decisions of the politicians who have the power to respond to these crimes. However, our task may be to draw attention to the fact that, once again, history is repeating itself in its darkest form.
The project is funded by the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ) and the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).