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Our Educational Programme

Our education and mediation work forms the interface between the Museum of Forced Labor and its public—the people of Weimar and the numerous visitors to the city. Whether for individual visitors or groups—our varied offerings are geared towards a wide range of target audiences: school children, students, trainees, and adults visiting in professional and non-professional contexts.

The picture shows the hands of a woman searching through a filing cabinet.
Research in the archive, 2023.
The picture shows a young man bent over a document file lying on the table. These are documents of former forced labourers.
Research of former forced labourers through documentation, 2023

Our methods and goals are dedicated to the work of historical and political education. Withing this process, our core aim is to foster an understanding for the past as a means of better understanding and actively shaping the present. For this purpose, we have formulated the follow basic principles:

Interactive Mediation

The Museum of Forced Labor understands itself as an exhibition space and place of learning. "Learning" does not simply entail mediating information but is a joint processes. Through interactive and discursive methods, we inspire audiences to jointly develop an understanding for history and to question the images that we carry in our heads. Together we discuss about the grey zones of perpetrator behaviours and assuming responsibility for the consequences of anti-Semitic, racist, anti-Roma, and anti-queer attitudes in history and their trajectories into the present. Using participatory formats for our educational offerings and working from the questions and assumptions of the participants, we aim to cultivate social and communicative competencies as well as creativity.  We wish to facilitate innovative paths towards lifelong learning while also offering digital access to our materials and interactive opportunities.

Critical Thinking and Democratic Participation

By raising current awareness for the possibilities for action, motives, and social dynamics of the past, we aim to offer participants a means of reflecting on their own possible behaviours and attitudes in the present. Programs created for specific target groups are intended to increase sensitivity towards current social and political developments. Discussions about the norms and values of the kind of society we wish to inhabit is intended to work from the past to promote critical thinking and reflected judgments in our own lives.

Participation and Networking

As a place for encounters and cultural participation, the Museum of Forced Labor wishes to enable visitors to take part in and shape its education and mediation programming. Through participatory projects we encourage audiences to collectively develop and test ideas. The museum is intended to function as a creative space for addressing current issues, welcoming different perspectives, and enabling visitors to pose questions. For this purpose, we have consciously chosen to also create spaces for discussion outside the museum itself.

In addition, the collaboration and cooperation with (extracurricular) educational institutions and with companies, businesses, and associations in the region and beyond is aimed to make the Museum of Forced Labor accessible beyond its institutional framework. Providing a space for experiences and experimentation, the museum wishes to offer visitors opportunities for actively taking part in social debates and assuming responsibility for one's individual actions.


We aspire to provide participatory learning processes for all “learning capacities” and to minimize existing barriers to access to historical-political education. Therefore, the way we shape our content and methods is based on the individual wishes, interests, and prior knowledge of the participants. The concept and realization of our programmes is carried out together with people who have recognized learning disabilities and/or disabilities. Our explicit aim is to continue to strengthen barrier-free and inclusive mediation in our future offerings.

Relevance for the Present

Only when one can reflect on historical knowledge and forge links to the present is it possible to learn from history. Questions and processes of negotiation relevant to living together in contemporary society need space, and so does the search for possible answers. The Museum of Forced Labor offers a starting point for exploring and addressing these processes, relationships, and trajectories.

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