Stoppover at the Nazi-House

משלחת תלמידי כיתה י' לגרמניה 2014

For one week young israeli educators were in Frankfurt to learn of their colleagues. Irritations were not to avoid all the time.

For one week young israeli educators were in Frankfurt to learn of their colleagues. Irritations were not to avoid all the time.

On the way back to the Bildungsstätte one of the german participants calls: “ Let´s make a short Stop at the Nazi-House.” The Israelis looked dumbfounded: “ What is a Nazi-House?”

In front of an unconsiderable apartment building with an savaged garden the group stops. Behind a dirty window there is an old poster of the NPD. One of the israeli participants proposes to throw bad fruits or eggs at the house. Or everyone has to ring the bell of the house – as a kind of test of courage. But the situation doesn´t go that far, the fear is too big.

For one week ten young Israelis were guests in Frankfurt. In their home the 20 to 30-year old visitors work as educators in youth centers or community centers and try to convey topics like human rights, responsibility and respect to children and teenagers.

The invitation for the ten Israelis came from the Bildungsstätte Anne Frank. The Israelis talked with the german guides of the Bildungsstätte about teaching of history, ethical values and about human rights. “Of particular importance are for us the questions: How are we working, what is important for us about that work and what are the differences in our work?” says Céline Wendelgaß who accompanied the Israelis.

At the end of the trip is a guided tour about the victims of Nationalsozialism in Frankfurt at the program. It seems like the young people would prefer to hang around in the sun and to relax instead of walking around 1 ½ hours in Frankfurt. But the time is running, the guide Maya Gradenwitz wants to start her guided tour. In the beginning she talks about the history of the building that’s the home right now for the Bildungsstätte. A good time to teach the Israelis a bit german. “Bil – dungs – stät – te.” Really slowly and with an emphasis on every syllable Snir Levi speaks out the incomprehensible word. “You germans allways have this long and complicated words”, he says and laughed. The whole group claps and whistles around and all the others try their best to speak out the word.

The first destination of the tour is the stumbling block in front of the former apartment of Kurt Neumann in the Bertramstraße. The Israelis have a closely at the in-ground stone, but cannot explain the meaning of it. Accordingly to that they are really surprised about the intention of the glittery stone. It should remember the victims of Nationalsozialism. A nice idea, says one of the israeli educators. During the further tour the symptom of fatigue is blowed away. They are taking pictures together, smiling around or are engrossed in discussions. “It´s amazing to get to know so many new and nice people.” says Levi. Especially because of that he wanted to be a part of the exchange. “Besides the fact that the situation in Germany right now is easier to handle – in Israel its really tough now.”, says the 27-year old smiling. In his hometown he is involved especially with the topics racism and anti-Semitism. This was also in the history of Germany a really big topic, he says. That’s why he is really excited about the exchange of the experiences with this problems.

משלחת תלמידי כיתה י' לגרמניה 2014His colleague Ayala Rayshevich means, that the work of the educators from Frankfurt is pretty similar to her work in Israel. For her personally it´s important that that group of young people she is working with learn a lot about human rights and responsibility. But this should also be funny and not only serious. There are also differences: “ In Israel the most of the time we talk about the present ajnd the future. We do not refurbish our own history.” This works pretty good in Germany and that’s something she takes as a knowledge with. The 20year old women is enthusiastic about the attitude to work: “ The german educators do something they really believe in. I really like that”. The next stop is the former home Anne Frank and her family in Marbachweg. The colleagues of the one guy that don´t speak English translate for him all the time the questions and answers into hebrew. Also the germans help the Israelis with understanding. “ I´m still amazed by the fact how fast the group get together”, says Wendelgaß

The conflict in Israel is also a topic between the young people. “ The war has a big influence for all of us. We like to talk about it, especially because we want the people to get to know a lot more about the situation in our country”, says Levi. He and his colleagues already finished their military duty at the army in Israel. He is happy that he didn’t had to go into the war on his own. Anyway he is sometimes scared from the sound of motorcycles and airplanes. “That allways remembers me at the air rade warning and the bombs. I allways have to remember me that I´m in Germany right now und that nothing will happen here.”

After the guided tour most of the participants wanted to relax. But a ride with the “Ebbelwoi-Express” is next. “This is an obligatory thing to do when you visit Frankfurt”, says Wendelgaß. Exhausted, but happy the group starts its way to the train station. Levi and Rayshevich would love to come back to Germany again. But before that the 14 educators from Germany will go to Israel in November.