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The Last Lesson

Persecuted pupils - never heard of them? No wonder, because the fate of those who were discriminated against, expelled from school, sent to childrens' homes or even served prison sentences in the socialist dictatorships in Central Europe because of their political convictions or their church commitment, because of their lifestyle or musical taste or because of their pacifist convictions is little known. The consequences for the individual youths, however, were enormous. Not infrequently, small deviations from the norm could mean major cuts in their professional biographies and life plans.

In our German-Czech project The Last Lesson, we want to make the fate of the persecuted pupils known to a broad public. In a study trip from Berlin via Torgau and Jáchymov to Prague, ten young media-savvy multipliers from Germany and the Czech Republic visit relevant memorial sites, talk to contemporary witnesses and create cross-media products for digital distribution. Based on the conversations, they draft the scripts for four graphic novels, each of which traces the fate of two German and two Czech students who were persecuted. These will then be realised and published by professional illustrators.

 

The project will be rounded off by two public events at which the four graphic novels will be presented and a reference made to the current commitment of young people.

The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Czech NGO Političtí vězni.cz and Novinářský inkubátor. The project is funded by the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany, the German-Czech Future Fund and the Berlin Commissioner for Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.

 

Workshop description:

 

Imagine you listen to rap - and are expelled from school.

Imagine you hate religion - and are not allowed to study.

Imagine you diss Trump - and have to go to jail.

 

That's exactly what happened to thousands of young people - in the GDR, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia. They loved US rock music and comics. And they paid a high price for it: home, jail, no school-leaving qualifications. A job and a career? No chance!

The stories of these persecuted students hardly receive any public attention. We are changing that - with you!

 

If you are

  • between 18 and 23 years old,
  • actively run your own social media account,
  • like to write or work with photos and videos,
  • are interested in politics and history.

Then you have the opportunity to join ten like-minded people from Germany and the Czech Republic on the trail of persecuted students from Berlin via Torgau and Jáchymov to Prague!

 

On the study trip, you will visit relevant memorial sites, talk to contemporary witnesses, and document the journey on your social media channels. Based on the conversations, you will create the scripts for four graphic novels, each of which traces the fate of two German and two Czech students who were persecuted. And not just for you: The drafts will then be realized and published by professional illustrators!

 

The study trip will take place from 22 to 26 October 2021. Participation, including travel costs, accommodation, meals and program costs, is 30€. Czech participants will travel via mini bus from Prague to Berlin.

 



You can apply   to Julia Aertken: ja@eab-berlin.eu  with the form in the righ column here (pdf).

 


 

The study trip will be implemented in cooperation with the Czech NGO Političtí vězni.cz. The project "The Last Lesson" is funded by the the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany, the German-Czech Future Fund and the Berlin Commissioner for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.

 
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