German-jewish family stories
The eyewitness project LIFELINES was initiated by the Jewish Museum Augsburg Swabia and the Sensemble Theater in 2002 and for many years consisted of several subprojects.
The first part was a public matinee featuring a Jew from Augsburg or elsewhere in Germany who was persecuted and driven into exile under National Socialism. In the course of the matinee, the eyewitness’s life was narrated and examined. The second part was a series of workshops in which secondary school students were able to ask the eyewitness questions about his or her experiences. These workshops were filmed and edited to create the third part of the LIFELINES project, namely interactive DVDs. With these educational DVDs, school classes could review the biography of our LIFELINES guest and recreate the encounter with him or her anywhere and anytime.
The fourth component was a publication that assembled for later reading and dissemination all the information collected about the LIFELINES guest.
The last LIFELINES with a first-generation witness took place in November 2015. Walter Jacob (Pittsburgh, USA), the son of Ernst Jacob, the last prewar rabbi of the Augsburg community, recounted how his family fled Germany under National Socialism, emigrating first to England and then to the USA.
Sadly, most first-generation eyewitness have now passed away, and those still living are rarely able to make the trip to Germany. That’s why we relaunched our eyewitness project in 2019 as LIFELINES 2.0, a new series focusing the second and third generations of survivors’ families.
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