Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten Mahn‑ und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück

Ravensbrück Generations Forum

Survivors and young participants in the Memorial’s function room (August 2016)
Survivors and young people at the end of the Ravensbrück Generations Forum, at a joint memorial ceremony on Schwedtsee. (August 2016)

Since 2005, the Ravensbrück Memorial has organised the Ravensbrück Generations Forum in close cooperation with the Dr Hildegard Hansche Foundation, which was initiated by a Ravensbrück survivor. This forum gives up to 50 young people the opportunity to spend four days interacting closely with survivors at the Memorial.

On the first day, the young participants explore the Memorial and meet one another and the survivors. The next two days revolve around morning discussions with the survivors in small groups. Over the following days, the participants spend time with the survivors during meals, in various phases of their project work, and in their leisure time. This enables the survivors and young people to gradually get to know one another.

Participants at work during the Generations Forum
In the grounds of the former men’s camp

On the last day of the Generations Forum, everyone finds it hard to say goodbye. The team from the Dr Hildegard Hansche Foundation then travels with the survivors to Berlin, where they can take part in a one- or two-day individual programme to help them regain a sense of distance. And then the survivors always ask: ‘When is the next Generations Forum? I’ll be there!’ More and more often, this sentence is followed by a another: ‘If I can...’ This event, which is one of the annual highlights of our work, is supported by the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation.

The 11th Ravensbrück Generations Forum (2015) was documented in two short films available online.