May our world become more peaceful and more hopeful for people and may we succeed in contributing to this with our ideals and values based on humanism and projects inspired by them.
Update: January 2024
Project-related collaborations with schools - usually with the exhibition The Girls of Room 28 as a focal point - are the driving force behind our Room 28 educational project. After all, it is only through the interaction of our programmes with the commitment of educational or artistic partners that we can fulfil our most important objective: to convey the "Legacy of the Girls of Room 28" to young people.
For many years it were the survivors of Room 28 themselves who, through their shared testimony, filled the project of remembrance with life. Now it is our responsibility, especially those of educators and cultural and political actors, to keep alive their stories and their legacy. The foundation and preconditions for this were created by the author Hannelore Brenner with her book, exhibition, theatre play, with theatrical readings, the educational project and teaching materials. Therefore, let us now keep alive together the story and the legacy of the Girls of Room 28 and pass the torch of remembrace to young people.
1. Seminar for teachers
Annett Blüher (Room 28 member, primary school teacher for 16 years), together with Hannelore Brenner, introduces the multimedia Room 28 educational project and the tasks and goals of the NPO Room 28. Participants learn about a unique Holocaust remembrance project, the concept (motives, ideas, vision) behind it and the prerequisites for joint ventures - the cornerstones for the future of Room 28 and its educational projects. See: exemplary co-operations. If you are interested in a personal encounter, let us know.
2. Room 28 co-operation projects with Schools
The exhibition The Girls of Room 28 is the central media for a cooperation project which we offer along with other elements in a "package". The way of cooperation will be discussed and agreed upon individually. The overall package includes the seminar for teachers mentioned in point 1. Further modules are: Workshops for pupils on the history of the Room 28 remembrance project and its protagonists. Preparatory workshops for readings on various key topics (Diary of Helga Pollak, The Girls of Room 28, Children's Opera Brundibár). See also the film about the workshop at the Gymnasium Heide-Ost under Films.
In Heide, pupils were also trained as peer guides through the exhibition - a great idea that worked amazingly well and that we would like to adapt.
3. Readings with Music
a) "Music is the most beautiful creation of the human soul". The story of The Girls of Room 28 and the Terezín diary of Helga Pollak. With songs by Ilse Weber and songs from the Terezín cabaret presented by the Berlin ensemble Zwockhaus - a jewel of our offerings. (The title is a quote from Helga Pollak's diary from Terezín).
b) Brundibár and the Girls of Room 28. Based on the book The Girls of Room 28 with songs from Brundibár and songs sung by the girls in Room 28. The reading is organised individually, depending on the thematic focus, possibilities, interests, ideas, wishes from the side of the school.
4. Readings for children. Brundibár.
Brundibár. How Aninka and Pepíček defeated the organ grinder.
Published in September 2023, this children's book tells the story on which the children's opera Brundibár is based for children aged four and over. Text: Hannelore Brenner | Pictures: Maria Thomaschke. Publishers: Boosey & Hawkes - Bote & Bock (music-publisher) in co-operation with Edition Room 28. We want to tell the story to children in the form of a reading with music and songs from Brundibár - e.g. in pre-schools, primary schools - see point 6.
The first review of the original German edition was written by Dr Hassadah Stichnothe for the Jüdische Allgemeine, 30.11.2023.
5. Brundibár. Ukrainian edition
The Ukrainian edition of the Brundibár children's book, which we were able to produce thanks to the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, was published shortly before Christmas 2023 - a common venture of the NPO Room 28 with Edition Room 28. It is inspired by our close ally, the opera-director Mstislav Pentkovsky/Riga, who has staged Brundibár several times since 2015 in various opera-houses and had invited Ela Weissberger and, in 2017, Evelina Merová to the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre. It was Mstislav's idea to make an Ukrainian edition of the Brundibár children's book and give it as a gift to Ukrainian children as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine.
On the menu Brundibár you can read more about how this project came about, the motives behind it and the decisive role of our friend Mstislav Pentkovsky. His Statement Against the War was published by Hannelore Brenner on her Blog on 5 May 2022.
Now, in January 2024, we are planning a very special kick-off event and hope further events and gift campaigns will folllow. A team is being set up - see next point. Discussions have begun with interested partners.
6. Brundibár Readings for children. A Brundibár Team is being set up
This will become one of our standard offers for children. We are therefore setting up an artistic and organisational team for readings with music - whether live or recorded. We are thinking of a "Pool" of participants, as we want to be flexible and able to realize this programm whenever it is desired. And we like to actively involve especially young people.
So far part of the team: the actor Nicolai Tegeler (he has already read the book three times for children in Berlin city libraries), Annett Blüher, (Room 28 member and primary school teacher), the author of the book Hannelore Brenner, the illustrator of the book Maria Thomaschke (member of the Zwockhaus ensemble, Andreas Jocksch (member of the Zwockhaus ensemble). A pianist or someone who plays the accordion is needed for musical accompaniment. For Ukrainian programs and other special events we will invite Mstislav Pentkovsky. We also would love to establish a small choir with young people (3 young singers are enough for one performance). If you are interested, please send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course we can also offer simple readings for children and play songs from the CD.
7. Joint Events with the Berlin ensemble "Zwockhaus"
Readings with songs from Terezín, as we have often done in the past, most recently on 25 January 2022 at the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Until 2017, the wonderful Helga Kinsky (1930-2020) read from her Terezín diary at these events - we miss her very much.
In the frame of our exhibition and educational project, we would like to draw your attention to the multi-award-winning film on the Holocaust art project by Austrian artist Manfred Bockelmann Drawing against Oblivion. The image link leads to the website of the film production company Finale Frame and to the trailer for the film. Manfred Bockelmann, brother of the singer Udo Jürgens, painted two of the "Girls of Room 28", Ruth Schächter (Zajiček) and Erika Stransky. There are moving scenes in the film with Helga Kinsky, who visited Bockelmann's atelier and suddenly faced the portrait of her former friend and roommate "Zajiček".