Winners of the Show That You Say ‘No’ competition, 2019 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Our cooperation projects

Communicating the Past and Present Together

Together with partners from the fields of education, art, and culture we have developed joint projects that take innovative approaches both to Nazi history and to current social and political issues. Here you can learn about some of our current projects.

We perceive learning as an active process. During our tours and seminars, we enter into a dialogue with our visitors and allow space for them to engage in discussion and form opinions. Our cooperation projects with partners from fields such as art, literature, dance, and theater also open up new perspectives on the topics addressed in our exhibitions. We provide advice and support for schools wishing to conduct their own research and to present their findings in an exhibition or through various media. 

We seek to explore new paths, find new forms of expression, and to learn from and together with our cooperation partners. We therefore welcome enquiries from schools , cultural initiatives, and social institutions interested in cooperating with us. 


Our cooperation projects

Tolerance, Exclusion, Children’s Rights: A Reading for Children with the Lesefüchse e.V.

The Nazi era is usually part of the 8th- or 9th-grade curriculum; most children, however, come into contact with the subject much earlier—whether in the family or in the media when they hear words like “war” or “Hitler.” We therefore think it is important not to fundamentally shield children from this chapter of German history, but to talk about it. But at what age does it make sense to start doing this? And which aspects of Nazi history can we confront children with?  How do we avoid situations where children find what they hear confusing or frightening? In cooperation with the Lesefüchse e.V. (an organization that reads to and with children) we have developed a program of readings for children followed by a discussion. The readings focus on the life of the Jewish girl Anne Frank.

While 10- and 11-year-olds generally have little structured knowledge about history, they do have a strong interest in it. This can be encouraged by telling stories that children can relate to. A biographical approach would therefore seem to be particularly suitable for this target group. The story of Anne Frank, who fled Germany for Amsterdam after the Nazis came to power and went into hiding there, enables children to empathize with a tangible person and to confront the phenomena of exclusion and persecution in an age-appropriate way. In the process they develop a preliminary awareness of the history of National Socialism.

As well as communicating some basic knowledge about history, a further aim of the reading is to sensitize children to fundamental human rights. A discussion about children’s rights, a topic many children have already encountered in class, forms a bridge from this history to the present.  

In 2021 the project won the prize Aktiv für Demokratie und Toleranz awarded by the Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz - gegen Extremismus und Gewalt (Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance—against Extremism and Violence).

Always remember. Never forget: a dance-theater project

Always remember. Never forget is a joint project between Spielen in der Stadt e.V. and the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism. In their work with children and young people the two organizations are seeking to initiate different approaches and new constellations for students attending any type of all-day school. Its goal is the structural and long-term integration of the methods and forms of cultural education in all-day schools in order to provide children and young people with the ideal conditions for self-determined learning and educational processes

The first joint dance-theater project with the all-day class 8g at the Guardinistraße junior high school. took place in 2015. Together with cultural educators and artists, 22 school students aged between 14 and 16 worked on the performance Always remember. Never forget in their dance and drama classes. Our second dance-theater project Stranger than... in 2017 was about the behavior of young people in the Nazi society of exclusion. Some of the questions the project dealt with were: What does this have to do with me today? What is empathy? What is respect? When should I intervene? Or more generally: What can I do? All these questions concern attitudes and the individual’s power to act and are still just as relevant today. In 2018 the project was awarded the BKM-Preis Kulturelle Bildung —a prize for cultural education awarded by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media. In 2019 nine young people from two Munich schools produced the dance-theater performance If you don’t know. This concerned the question of how concepts of humanity changed during the Nazi era and today. When do we preserve our humanity, when and why do we relinquish it? Finally, in 2021, twelve young people from seven different schools produced the dance and film performance Um 2 Uhr nochmals Kaffee (Another coffee at 2am). The project was about “forgotten places” in Munich that are connected with Nazi history. It focused particularly on the former “Jew camp” in the Munich district of Milbertshofen. With the help of BMW— the current owner— the young people were able to visit the site and rehearse and film part of their performance there. We were especially pleased that the contemporary witness Ernst Grube, who was imprisoned in the camp as a child, agreed to participate in the project.

School students dressed in gray are standing in a line one behind the other on a stage. Some of them are sitting in front of the stage and looking at the floor.

Premiere of the dance-theater project Always remember. Never forget, 2015 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Two girls are kneeling on the floor and performing a dance.
School students dressed in black and white with their arms folded stand behind a wall made of gray blocks. In front of the wall a boy is lying on his stomach on a block covered in newspaper.
Four school students are standing on four square blocks covered in newspaper and jumping from one to another.

Münchner Zeitgeschichten: An Audio Project with School Students

In 2017 we realized the project Münchner Zeitgeschichten in cooperation with Stiftung Zuhören and the Department of Education and Sport of the City of Munich and with the support of Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio). The audio project was developed together with students from municipal vocational schools. It addressed various topics, such as resistance, childhood and youth under the Nazis, the former forced labor camp in Neuaubing, “Aryanization” in Munich, and Nazi places and architecture. A series of lively scenes and sound collages produced at authentic locations in the city make history “audible.” Contemporary witnesses can also be heard speaking. The audio project invites listeners to trace and confront the history of the Nazi era. In 2021 Münchner Zeitgeschichten was relaunched as a podcast accessible via Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher und Deezer verfügbar.

Listen to all the episodes of the podcast Münchner Zeitgeschichten

Charlotte Knoblauch being interviewed by a female school student who is sitting at a table with her holding a recording device.

Interview with Charlotte Knobloch for the audio project Münchner Zeitgeschichten, 2017 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Two female school students sitting opposite one another at a table in front of microphones.

Recordings for the audio project Münchner Zeitgeschichten, 2017 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Several school students walking down a corridor at Bayerischer Rundfunk with their teacher.
Three female school students sitting opposite one another holding microphones and interviewing each other.

Not Black and White: An Intervention in Color

The exhibition Not Black and White, which we showed from February 28 to May 5, 2019, was the result of a cooperation with the Munich School for Color and Design. Two hundred school students from seven different professions—body shop paint technicians, painters and varnishers, sign and illuminated advertising manufacturers, visual marketing designers, church restorer-painters and painters, and gilders—created their own images, objects, and texts as illustrations and commentaries for the exhibition Munich and National Socialism. Whereas the historical exhibition is based on black-and-white photos and deliberately avoids emotionalizing elements, the art works by the adolescents and young adults gave it a personal, in some cases very intimate touch.

In their art works the students expressed their impressions and experiences of forced migration, isolation, solidarity, and feelings of security. They addressed both the history of the Nazi era and current socio-political issues, such as: What threatens us, what will secure our future? What values are important to us? How do we eliminate prejudice and enemy stereotypes?

The students responded to the topics in the exhibition by producing artworks that used the specific materials and techniques of their future professions. Thus, they suspended varnished panels above the horizontal tables of the historic exhibition, placed wooden silhouettes of themselves next to the exhibition’s information boards, and displayed their thoughts in typographical form in illuminated boxes programed to change at intervals. Twenty-one wooden panels were devoted to the motto “One world, many colors,” and a large mobile made of cardboard cylinders hung in the space between the first and second floors of the exhibition. The mobile was the result of a project entitled The World in Balance, in which the gilders chose a color from a color fan used in the industry. They each made a cardboard cylinder to fit the topic they had chosen, and all the cylinders were displayed as a suspended mobile, symbolizing a world in balance and the idea that if we think and work against one another the world will lose its balance.

: A female student varnishing a wooden panel with blue paint in a workroom. She is wearing a mask and a protective suit and holding a spray pistol.

Students from the School for Color and Design preparing their exhibition, 2019 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Five students standing next to each other beside a table of in-depth information at the exhibition Munich and National Socialism.
: A stele with five illuminated signs addressing the topic of antisemitism stands besides one of the central images in the exhibition.

View of the exhibition Not Black and White, 2019 | © NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, photo: Connolly Weber Photography

Several colorfully painted and decorated wooden panels hang side by side on a wall. Each panel shows one letter of the slogan “One world, many colors.”