A place of learning par excellence
More than almost any other place in Germany, the City of Weimar stands for both democracy and barbarism, the classical and the modern, for both internationality and nationalism, for cosmopolitanism and provincial thinking. Weimar cannot be pigeonholed; it has light and dark sides and its history exhibits numerous turning and breaking points. Weimar is and has a special place in German history and culture, one where their duality and ambiguity are plain to see.
It was the Spanish writer and former Buchenwald prisoner Jorge Semprún who said, »Buchenwald – better put, the double-name Weimar-Buchenwald – is the historic spot which best symbolises this double duty: of working through mourning to be able to deal with the past critically, of planning a European future from first principles so that the mistakes of the past might be avoided.« (From his acceptance speech at the conferment of the German Book Trade Peace Prize, 1994).
Through its eventful history Weimar has become a place of learning par excellence – in German, Lernort, not only a place to learn but a place to learn from. The EJBW offers a diverse educational programme which is based on issues and people from the centuries gone by that have left their mark on the City of Weimar and its story, and which follows up on the questions they ask us today. Centre stage in our educational work are the closely-bound concepts of Weimar as a place of learning and learning in an authentic place. The core of our pedagogical concept and all of our educational programmes is the question »What strengthens democracy, and what endangers it?«
Subject areas that the EJBW tackles in its educational programmes for young people:
- German Classicism, Enlightenment and humanism
- The German National Assembly of 1919 and Weimar Republic
- Bauhaus and the advent of modernism
- Buchenwald concentration camp and National Socialism
- Soviet Special Camp No. 2
- SED dictatorship, German division and the Peaceful Revolution