The Ravensbrück European Summer School was established in 2005 by Dr Johanna Wanka, who was the Brandenburg Minister of Science, Research and Culture at the time, together with the then Director of the Ravensbrück Memorial, Dr Sigrid Jacobeit.
The following three points form the programmatic framework for the Summer School: the Nazi dictatorship in Europe, women’s history and gender history, and the critical examination of European memorial history – always in light of the specific history of the Ravensbrück concentration camp. The goal is to exchange information and link scholarly research at concentration camp memorials to research at universities and other institutions.
The Ravensbrück European Summer School is a multi-generational project. It is aimed at an interdisciplinary group of participants comprising students, scholars, educators from memorials and schools, and other interested individuals. The Summer School particularly welcomes participants from Central and Eastern European countries.
The Ravensbrück European Summer School therefore also follows the memory policy concept of the federal state of Brandenburg, which entails promoting professional exchange at the national and international level as well the ‘networking and cooperation of sites of remembrance in Brandenburg’.
Conceptually, the European Summer School is supported by a project group made up of different members each year in accordance with that year’s theme. This voluntary group of scholars develops the thematic focal points, recommends speakers, and is involved in moderating the individual events during the Summer School.
The Summer School is financed solely through third-party funding. The partial or initial funding provided almost continuously by the Brandenburg Ministry of Science, Research and Culture has proven to be productive in that it has encouraged other funding bodies, such as the Foreign Office, Daimler Benz, and the Axel Springer Foundation, to contribute as well.
After a two-year break due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the 15th European Summer School will be held on August 29- September 2, 2022 and is dedicated to the topic "Memorials as Sites of 'Multidirectional Memory. Positions- Potentials- Perspectives." Please register here You can download the program here
Topics of previous Ravensbrück European Summer Schools
Camps in the Twentieth Century: Labour, Repression and Forced Migration from the Perspective of Gender History (21. – 28. 8. 2005)
European Memory Cultures (21. – 25. 8. 2006)
Forced Prostitution and War in the 20th and the Beginning of the 21st Century (3. – 7. 9. 2007)
Commemorating the Shoah at Sites of Former Concentration Camps in Western and Eastern Europe: History, Representation, Gender (15. – 19. 9. 2008)
Under German Occupation: Gender Politics and Racism during World War II – Poland, France, Italy (30. 08. – 4. 09. 2009)
Pictorial Languages: Artistic Production in Camps and Ghettos 1933 to 1945 (29. 8. – 3. 9. 2010)
Gender and Race in Nazi Medicine (28. 8.– 2. 9. 2011)
Remembrance and Media Biographies – Generational and Gendered Perspectives (27. – 31. 8. 2012)
Anti-social: Continuities of Social Stigmatisation in the 20th Century (31. 8. – 5. 9. 2014)
Photography in Concentration Camps: Practice, Function and Reception (23. – 28. 8. 2015)
Camps in the Twentieth Century: Labour, Repression and Forced Migration from the Perspective of Gender History (28. 8. – 2. 9. 2016)
Objects on Display: National Socialist Artefacts in Exhibitions (27.8.-1.9. 2017)
Hunger, Forced Labour und Nutritional Research. National Socialist Agrarian Policy and the Concentration Camp System (2.9.-7.9.2018)
Collecting Objects. Material Cultures in Concentration Camp Memorials’ (1.9.-6.9.2019)