My name is Emil Neuber, I am 20 years old and come from Vienna, Austria.
Like no second place Auschwitz stands as a symbol for the inconceivable and perfidious atrocities of the National Socialism. What humans are able to, is showed here in a extremely painful way. The effects of this felonious ideology cannot be visualised often enough, the history of this place must be an admonition for eternity. But it is also a chance for the future. According to Adorno, whereas the claim that Auschwitz won’t be again should be the first requirement of education, I want to make my personal contribution at the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim to use that chance in form of passing on an awareness as well as making sure that any kind of intolerance, hatred and incitement stays where it belongs - in the past.
My name is Zhenia Kifenko, I am 22 years old and come from Ukraine. Being a volunteer in the IYMC is an honorable and pleasant opportunity for me.
I do believe that working with young people must be a priority of the modern society. Working in such a field in Oświęcim is rather even more important and interesting, as it is the place where events that badly changed the march of history, left an indelible mark on the memory of humanity happened. That is why I really enjoy the possibility to be a part of this wonderful place the IYMC is, to contribute my personal efforts into the great process of informal education, intercultural communication, overcoming the borders between people.
My name is Ines Sorger, I am 20 years old and come from Vienna. I am very happy that since 2016 it is also possible for women to do an Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service.
That gives me the opportunity to spend a year abroad to deal with the very important commemorative culture of the Second World War. The IYMC in Oświęcim is the ideal place to do so with a lot of contact to other people. I expect an exciting time and a good collaboration, not only between the other volunteers and employees here, but also with the people and especially the youth in Oświęcim.
My name is Sophie Makoschey, I am 18 years old and I am from Kassel in Germany. In spring 2017, I graduated from school.
The description of the position in Oświęcim made me curious about the city and the work and in addition to that, my interest in history and politics convinced me of applying for an organisation who sends volunteers to Oświęcim: Internationaler Bund. In my opinion, the future can only be made when you are aware of the history. That is why I hope that my work with young people is able to contribute to remembrance and against oblivion.
Cześć and Hello,
my name is Klara Meyer-Wehrmann and I am 19 years old. In September 2017, I moved from Münster, a city in the west of Germany, to Poland to work as a volunteer of the organization “Action Reconciliation for Peace” in the International Youth Meeting Center Oświęcim/Auschwitz.
Even after 73 years since the liberation of the camp, Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau never lost their great significance and remind and warn us today like no other place of the crimes of the National Socialists. The IYMC – “A House to Live. A Place to Learn”- considers Auschwitz not only to be a place of remembrance and commemoration of the uncountable victims, but also as a place to make conclusions, to speak about the past, to prevent any of those terrible events from ever happening again. Here, young people deal with the history of the former concentration and extermination camp, but also with issues such as racism and discrimination today. I am very glad to be a part of this extremely important work, especially taking into consideration the current political situation in Europe, and to meet new and interesting people every day. As a volunteer, I have the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of history, gain experience in educational work with (youth) groups and, for example, to give the visitors of the IYMC an understanding of the past and the current life of the Polish town Oświęcim by giving guided tours.
I feel excited about the next months at the IYMC, enriching encounters and new insights into the culture and language of my home country’s neighbor Poland, about which I did not know much prior to my stay.