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EVS: My Workcamp in Ravensbrück.

History, memory, international friendship and fun…

At the beginning of my EVS I was told that I would have to lead one of the camps arranged by NiG. I could choose among about 15 camps and after my experience I am really satisfied with my decision.

For two weeks, between July and August, I was in Ravensbrück: an old women’s concentration camp in Fürstenberg (one hour far away from Berlin). Ravensbrück is now a memorial and youth meeting centre. A lot of students go there to do some researches about Nazism, the Second World War or other topics that are connected with this themes. Many teachers also go there with their classes to let them know the story of the camp.

The task of my group was to help the archive of the memorial. They have there many original documents written by survivors and lots of books in different languages and they need help to know the content or also to translate them in German.

Before to start with the translations we had the opportunity to have an introduction about Ravensbrück and during the two weeks we also met two women, who were prisoners in the camp.

The 9 participants of this camp were all girls, from 5 different countries: Serbia, Czech Republic, Republic of Armenia, France and South-Korea…Many of them were really good in German and they were so motivated in the work that they wanted to go on till late in the afternoon.

I can say that the third day the group was already really good mixed and an international friendship started to grow.

We also had a lot of free time and we decided to do different excursions and to enjoy it all together to make a little “easier” our staying there. Fürstenberg is surrounded by many lakes and we went to swim there. We went to the village where Santa Klaus has his second office, we did barbecue and we spent nice evenings. Furthermore, we had a trip to Berlin and another one to Rostock and to the Baltic Sea…the girls were really surprised by the German Sea and they were very happy.

This was my “real” first time as leader of one workcamp and I am satisfied about my work with this group: they were very happy about my suggestions and proposals and this made me feel good. Moreover, as I wrote at the beginning, I am really pleased of my decision. I am interested in history, I believe that we have to learn from the past and I think we had there a great opportunity.

During this time I knew many lovely, curious and smart young people. We spoke a lot about our different countries and about our ideas for the future. We are still in touch and of course we hope to meet again somewhere in the world!

Cinzia

 

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