For more than eight years I have worked as occupational therapist in different clinics and doctor's practices. The complexity that working among generations includes continues giving me pleasure until today. During a private journey to Israel in 2009, I experienced my first encounter with a Holocaust survivor.
An extraordinary experience was, when Holocaust survivor Gita Koifman asked me during the memorial days of the Wannsee conference in 2012 at the Holocaust Memorial here in Berlin, whether I would be her “German daughter”. This experience strengthened my desire to make more encounters between Holocaust survivors and their children and Grandchildren in Israel in Germany possible, so that hearts are touched on both sides and so that we can make a meaningful mark for the future. (Anmerkung: Übersetzung angepasst in: diese Begegnungen möglich zu machen statt nur “dass sie möglich sind”, den sie trägt ja tatsächlich dazu bei. Sonst müssten wir das englische ändern in: This experience strengthened my wish for more encounters between Holocaust survivors and their children and Grandchildren in Israel in Germany to be possible, so that…”)
For me, looking at the future is especially important. Someday, Holocaust survivors will no longer be alive. It is therefore one of my major concerns to focus the attention on the psychological suffering of the second and third generation of Holocaust survivors. The way we handle this dimension will share the German-Israeli relations for the next decades. In our joint cooperation we – Germans and Israelis, Christians and Jews, can send strong signs of reconciliation and hope. Apart from the overall management, my focus area is the German-Israeli exchange programme.
Natalja Part - Interviews & School projects
I think that encounters with Holocaust survivors are very important for us as the young generation. On the one hand, we may learn from them how they managed to live their life with optimism and strength despite their cruel past. On the other hand, I believe that these people can experience reconciliation, love and appreciation through contact with young Germans.
David Lüllemann - Education against anti-Semitism
I am active at „Witness of the witnesses“ because, being a student of Jewish studies and history, it provides a special opportunity to link my interests, to meet Holocaust survivors but also, to introduce my knowledge and my skills.
Hannah Schmidt - Public Relations
As a member of one of the last generations to be personally in contact with Survivors of the Shoah, I want to pass on this opportunity to as many people as possible. Against this backdrop, I, as a Germanist and journalist, have a desire for people of all ages to develop a consciousness of their and our history and above all: a consciousness of language as the central medium of all communication.
Experts on the team
Kate Rudolph - Holocaust Communications, M.A.
Kate is our interview expert who plays a leading role in writing our screenplays. In 2014, she started as an intern with ZdZ. Today she dedicates herself on a voluntary basis with her valuable expertise.
Tina Dreier - Psychology, M.Sc.
Tina is trained psychologist and is available for advice to our interviewers. She has already had various encounters with survivors in Germany and Israel and also already conducted interviews herself. We are glad that Tina supports our team since early 2017.
Matthias Niehoff - Banking Professional
Matthias is responsible for our financial unit. He has dedicated his competences since 2013.
(Part of our countrywide team at a team retreat)
Twice a year we hold a countrywide Core team meeting.
Until today, our team has grown to around 60 young adults who work for ZdZ on an honorary basis. In the various cities a network of visitors is developing so that young people regularly visit Holocaust survivors and celebrate Jewish feast with them.