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Forced Labor 1939-1945

Memory and History
An Interview Archive for Education and Research

The interview archive “Forced Labor 1939-1945” commemorates the over twenty million people who were forced to work for Nazi Germany. Nearly 600 former forced laborers from 26 countries tell their life stories in detailed audio and video interviews. There are also transcripts, translations, photos and short biographies. The archive is accessible online after registration and is available in German, English and Russian.

Learning and Teaching with Interviews

Various educational materials and projects support and encourage the commemoration of the victims of Nazi forced labor in the classroom and in museums, in political education and at universities.
The online platform ìlearning with interviewsî brings the interviews to the classrooms across Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. The educational platforms focus on several 25-minute biographical short films with accompanying tasks and materials. In addition there are background films, transcripts and translations, info texts and method tips as well as a timeline and an encyclopedia.



Nazi Forced Labor ñ Background Information

Nazi Germany created one of the largest forced labor systems in history: Over twenty million foreign civilian workers, concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war from all of the occupied countries were required to perform forced labor in Germany in the course of the Second World War.

At the height of the so-called ìAusl‰ndereinsatzî (use of foreigners) in August 1944, six million civilians were forced to perform forced labor in the German Reich, most of them from Poland and the Soviet Union. Over one third were women, some of whom were abducted together with their children or gave birth to their children in the camps. In 1944, nearly two million prisoners of war were exploited to work in the German economy. From 1943, German industry also increasingly used concentration camp detainees as a source of forced labor.