– Migration and AsylumA German-Polish-Ukrainian seminar for students
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/ Auschwitz and the International Forum Burg Liebenzell are glad to invite students from Germany, Poland and Ukraine to the trilateral educational project “Learning from History”. This year’s edition focuses on the issue of migration and asylum in historical and contemporary perspectives. During this seminar the participants will have a unique opportunity to visit the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, get to know about migration during WWII, discuss contemporary migration policy in Europe, and learn more about the activity of NGOs engaged in helping refugees and asylum-seekers in Poland.
- November 14th-20th, 2015
- International Youth Meeting Centre in Oswiecim, Internationales Forum Burg Liebenzell
German, Polish and Ukrainian participants accomplished this year’s edition of the student project “Learning from History”, dedicated to migration and asylum.
The first day started with the integration round followed by the guided tour of the town of Oświęcim. An important point of the day was preparing for the visit at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, where the participants shared their expectations, fears and ways of dealing with emotions at the site as well as discussed Auschwitz in the historical and cultural context of their home countries.
The second day was marked by the visit at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Active listening, personal appeal of the guide’s narration and the individual stories presented in the exhibition helped the young people to better grasp the meaning of Auschwitz as the symbol of the biggest crime against humanity. During the subsequent summarizing of the visit the participants analysed the mechanisms which made Auschwitz possible and traced similar mechanisms in today’s discrimination processes. As Alina, a participant from Ukraine, commented during the summary: “The exercise made me think about the fact, that Auschwitz seems so long ago, part of history, but look – the same mechanisms are functioning today around us!”
During the third day of the project the participants were working hard on the historical and today’s perspective of migration. They presented the migration processes of the 30s, analyzed the legal framework of the refugee and migration regime of the time and compared it to the European refugee regime today. While getting to know more about the rights of refugees today, the students had an opportunity to try on the role of a refugee entering one of the countries of the participants. This helped them to better understand the procedure of asylum-seeking as well as to see its flaws.
The fourth day of the program was spent in Cracow. First, the young people from Ukraine, Germany and Poland had a meeting with Michał Serwiński, Director of the regional office of the Polish Humanitarian Action in Cracow, who presented the work of the PHA both in Poland and abroad. “I was impressed by the work they are doing! I also organize and participate in local initiatives in my city, and I know that it is no easy task,” – noted Evgeniia, a participant from Ukraine. After a coffee break the participants met Khalil Ahmad Arab, a refugee from Afghanistan, who presented an eye-witness’ perspective of being a refugee in Germany and Poland. The visit at the PHA was followed by a tour around interesting places in Cracow made by the Polish participants.
The fifth day was the day of summarizing and evaluating the project. The participants stressed, that the project made them perceive some of the modern social phenomena differently. They have also noted, that it was extremely interesting to work in an international group. “It is a pity that we have to part now! We need to think and make the next edition of the project in Germany or Ukraine,” – offered Sophie, a participant from Germany. Which sounds like a good idea! Because learning is never complete, especially Learning from History.