By Adrienn, volunteer from Germany
I was able to experience a city tour on the subject of resistance to National Socialism with a ninth grade class. It was an opportunity to see how history influences our everyday lives and that also helped the students to understand how hatred and exclusion can divide people, just when individuals could need the community.
A teacher gave the tour, whose interaction with the students was deliberate and consistent through questions and interactive tasks. We thematised Jewish aspects of the city of Passau, for example the “Merkur” department store, which introduced us to the Jewish history of the old town. It became clear what a role support and cohesion could play against hatred and exclusion. We also explained the importance of the church in the fight against National Socialism in the district of Passau by recognizing the importance of a single critic through the deeds of Pastor Ludwig Mitterer. He was arrested several times and ultimately executed. Although the town priests were loved by the people, one of the 8 priests executed by Nazis in Passau was betrayed and condemned by fellow citizens. The factor of peer pressure under a dictatorial regime, which was really remarkable for me, is easy to notice. The tour was particularly interesting for me as an international student, as I knew less about Passau during the Second World War. For a moment, I found it surprising how „early“ the boycott of Jews arrived in Passau. Then I pointed out that it was of course only the beginning of a long, Europe-wide process. I also enjoyed the students‘ comments on the topic. They also questioned why Hitler invented such an ideal man who didn’t actually look like him. You could only agree and enjoy the interesting questions and comments