International Youth Meeting Center

The International Youth Exchange Centre (IJBS) is located on the grounds of the Documentation Centre. It offers a place where young people from different countries and cultures come together, discuss and learn together. Using the example of the Nazi dictatorship and forced labour, the participants deal with mechanisms of exclusion and exploitation. The aim of the IJBS is to promote exchange across borders in order to break down prejudices and strengthen tolerance towards people from other cultural backgrounds.


Rooms, equipment and costs

The international youth encounters take place in a former accommodation barrack of the forced labour camp in Schöneweide. Six modern seminar rooms, kitchen, lounge and sanitary facilities are available for the groups. The distribution of the rooms is based on the historical room layout. There are no sleeping facilities at the IJBS. The young people usually spend the night in group accommodation, for example in youth hostels or guest houses. For programmes organised by the Documentation Centre, the IJBS organises the accommodation. The IJBS covers the costs for most programmes. Depending on the effort and scope, a small participation fee may be charged.

The IYMC programmes at a glance

The IJBS provides the framework for programmes lasting several days, which are aimed primarily at pupils, young people and young adults. We currently offer the following programme areas: Project weeks, study camps and advanced training. The programmes can be dedicated to different topics or project focuses and can be combined with seminars, tours, workshops and evaluation rounds. In addition, there are excursions to historical sites, city walks and museum visits in Berlin. As a rule, prior knowledge is not required. The common working language is usually English.

Alternative programme ideas or new format suggestions are welcome.

International Youth Meeting Center
Merle Schmidt
schmidt(at)topographie.de
+49 30 6390 288 16


Info: Project weeks

One-week seminars for students such as


Looking for clues
Methodology and use of media

Whether creative, based on biographical sources or in conversation with contemporary witnesses - in project weeks and study camps the participants actively search for traces. Themes can focus on various aspects: for example, living and working conditions in forced labour, war economy, forced migration and return to the home countries, but also current issues of compensation, remembrance culture, racism and right-wing extremism. We work with video interviews and sources from our online contemporary witness archive as well as with specific educational materials. The processes are coordinated with the groups. We attach great importance to the fact that the participants independently work out connections, concepts and structures, discuss them in the group and present their work.


Searching for traces with contemporary witnesses

The conversation with contemporary witnesses makes history lively and personally experienceable. Pupils and young people from different countries go on a search for traces of the Nazi regime together with people who still lived through it. A return visit to the home countries of the contemporary witnesses can be part of the project.


Searching for photographic traces

In the photographic search for traces, young people accompanied by a professional photographer explore the history of historical places with the camera. They visit former warehouses or production sites and explore, for example, what is going on in
of a factory and what effects war and forced labour had on their place of residence.


Tracing with radio and podcast

In December 2018 pupils* from Germany and Italy met in Berlin to follow in the footsteps of the Italian military internees. Equipped with a microphone, they explored the neighborhood of the documentation center and other places of remembrance in the city. A return visit to Italy is part of the project. The finished audio contributions can be listened to on a blog.

Info: Study Camps

Study Camps bring young people and young adults from different countries and cultures together in Berlin. The camps are usually organised in cooperation with international partners and take place regularly in Schöneweide. What's special about this is that in addition to dealing with the content of Nazi history, the participants also work practically. Each Study Camp has a central theme, which is dealt with in the form of workshops, seminars or excursions. For this purpose, the groups are given the opportunity to search for clues.

Info: Trainings

Training for teachers and multipliers

The IYMC training courses are aimed at students, teachers and other multipliers from Germany and abroad. The aim is to support mediation work on the subject of forced labour and to promote international exchange. The multipliers get to know the Documentation Centre for NS Forced Labor, try out new educational concepts and discuss how the topic of forced labor can be conveyed in a contemporary way.


Forced labour from a transnational perspective

Especially in Europe, surprisingly little is known about forced labour in other countries during the Second World War. The further training on forced labour from a transnational perspective aims to broaden the view and promote the development of new teaching concepts.
In 2016/17, a German-South Korean seminar for teachers and museum staff was devoted to the history of the so-called comfort women. These were women from the Asian Pacific who had to work as sex slaves in Japanese military brothels during the Second World War. The seminar took place in cooperation with Sogang University Seoul.


International Winter School

Within the framework of the international winter school, current educational offers are regularly presented and tested. These include, for example, materials from the Documentation Center for NS Forced Labor, the Center for Digital Systems at Freie Universität Berlin, and the International Tracing Service in Bad
Arolsen, who is also a partner of the winter school.

We are looking forward to receiving applications for the next winter school in February 2019. You can find the exact information here as a PDF file.