The Leo Baeck Institute– New York | Berlin (LBI) has developed the 1938Projekt, a daily calendar that chronicles the events of 1938 in Germany, Austria, and around the world. LBI invites educators to use the calendar and related materials in their teaching materials (assignments, lesson plans, short educational research projects, syllabi of courses, etc.). We will share the submissions on the 1938Projektwebsite pedagogical approaches based on the project.
In 1938, the National Socialists expanded their grip on Central Europe and launched a campaign of mass violence against Jews in a series of events that together constitute a threshold year in Jewish history and world history. Eighty years later, Leo Baeck Institute is commemorating the experiences of German-speaking Jews that year by publishing a prime source document for each day of 1938 in an online calendar.
The 1938Projekt focuses on personal stories by presenting documents from LBI’s own archives and those of numerous partner institutions. Every day, a new document—a letter, a transit visa application, medical record, a diary entry, a photograph, press clipping—is published at www.1938projekt.org and broadcast via social media. Each document reflects the experiences and private impressions of its former owner as they grappled with the loss of their rights, their livelihoods, their homes, and their personal security. In the shadow of major events: the Anschluss, the Evian Conference, the Treaty of Munich, the invasion of the Sudetenland, the Kristallnacht, and the Kindertransport—these documents tell hundreds of personal stories that bring us closer to the fears, hopes, and choices made in the face of the approaching disaster.
The 1938Projekt is a unique collection of primary sources, often made available for the first time, that may serve as a prolific educational resource, opening up many directions and methods for investigating archival documents. The project lends itself to explore critical issues, such as the study of minorities, ethnic persecution, hate speech, but also to investigate media coverage and propaganda in turbulent times— bringing historical contexts and new understandings to the timely matters of the world today.
We are collecting submissions (PDF documents) in two age categories: high school and college students. The format of submissions is open, but should include: age category/type of school, discipline, intended learning outcomes, and ready-to-use description of activities, and a 50-word bio. We welcome submissions already tested in classroom setting, with comments on students’ responses.
The first deadline for submissions is June 30. PDF documents should be sent to email@example.com .
All the submissions will be published on the 1938Projekt website, www.1938projekt.org
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www.1938projekt.org/signup and follow the project on social media.
About Leo Baeck Institute
Leo Baeck Institute was founded in 1955 by a circle of émigré Jewish intellectuals who resolved to document the vibrant German-speaking Jewish culture that had been nearly extinguished in the Holocaust. In the decades since, LBI has worked to fulfill that mission by building a world-class research collection. With an 80,000 volume library, millions of pages of archival documents, 25,000 photographs, 8,000 art objects, 2,000 memoirs, and hundreds of oral histories, our collections document centuries of Jewish life in central Europe.
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