Following World War II and the Shoah, Zittau’s Jewish cemetery has been almost forgotten. Being located outside of town, it fell prey to natural and violent destruction. Until 2003, there were numerous cases of vandalism. Since then, socio-cultural centre Hillersche Villa, together with volunteers and the municipality, has worked on the restoration of the Jewish cemetery. Through guided tours and educational programs, we are enhancing its visibility and building awareness of the Jewish history of Zittau.
This year, with the help of international volunteers, we will begin to transform the cemetery itself into a space of active remembrance and cultural education. We will explore the Jewish cemetery as a space of cultural heritage, in order to develop an innovative and accessible interpretation concept. We will learn how to use methods of heritage interpretation and create a virtual guided tour of the Jewish cemetery. It is possible to participate both on-site or remotely from home if for whatever reasons (COVID-19-related or not), you are unable to travel to Germany in September.
Over the course of the project, the volunteers will learn from experts about regional and architectural history, Jewish rituals, and interpretation of cultural heritage. Collaboratively, they will develop ideas and create multimedia content for a virtual guided tour. The results of this workcamp will be presented to the public and serve as a foundation for further educational projects.
The workcamp will be accompanied by a cultural and educational program. We will visit other Jewish heritage sites in the region, take a trip with the historical steam railway and learn about the cultural specifics of the tri-border region, where Germany shares a border with Poland and the Czech Republic. Online participants will be included via a “tandem” system: each on-site participant will work with a digital partner. Online participants are invited to join the informal activities through live-streams, video-chats, and other digital solutions.
Accomodation and food
You will sleep in a place nearby the working place, on the site of the small Zoo of Zittau. You will have two dormitories, a community room, a well equipped kitchen and sanitary facilities. The accommodation is a quiet and picturesque place with lots of spaces. The volunteers will cook all together.
Location and leisure
From the end of the 19th century, large numbers of Jews from Eatern Europe on their way to the West stopped over in Zittau. A cemetery was established in 1887 and a synagogue was consecrated in 1906. On the KRISTALLNACHT (9-10 November 1938) the synagogue and the mortuary at the cemetery were destroyed by the Nazis.
www.zittau.de/de (Czech language available), www.hillerschevilla.de/cms/de/327/Juedischer-Friedhof
The freetime activities will be decided by the groups interets and wishes.
Project hosted by
HILLERSCHE VILLA - the family home of the founder of the PHÄNOMENWERKE ZITTAU, Gustav Hiller was given to the supporting association in 1993 by the granddaughters. Their aim was to help the place in in their old homeland to develop, which, through the combination of cultural expression and social commitment, enables people to participate and to be active citizens, thus strengthening democratic development in the border triangle region of Germany - the Czech Republic - Poland.
Nowadays HILLERSCHE VILLA is a non-profit, member-organized company that is committed to democratic, solidarity and creative cooperation in the region of Zittau.
The association runs the NETZWERKSTATT, which works for democracy education and operates education and prevention. They want to make people think and ask questions and motivate them to deal with the history and development of their own environment. They help with their network and their experience in the search for partners from culture, politics and education. History is always reflected in the local. But history is also made here. NETZWERKSTATT is responsible for the jewish graveyard in Zittau.
Will be announced later
We ask the volunteers to make sure that their travel is compatible with the most recent recommendations of health authorities with regards to the spread of the Corona virus. In case you are travelling from or recently travelled through a higher risk area, please check the health recommendations of the country where the project takes place, as restrictions may apply (e.g. ban, quarantine, isolation). We will take the necessary health precautions for our projects, but please contact your sending organisation to get more information in case you have any concerns.
Volunteers need a good level of English to be able to benefit from the study part. Also, they will be required to work collaboratively on short texts for the website. A smartphone and/or laptop will be needed for most tasks and activities. Knowledge of the German, Czech, Polish or Hebrew language can be helpful but is not necessary. Male participants will be requested to cover their heads when working on the Jewish cemetery.
Sustainable Development Goals