International Exchange I, 26. March – 1. September 2022, Corfu

A week of sun, beach, … and workshops on Corfu. At our first international Nature and Ideology meeting, young people from Greece and Germany met to get into the project together for a week. We started with a series of workshops where we not only got to know the content but also each other better. The first step was an input on how to deal creatively with commemoration. At the end of the project, there should be a documentation that the participants work on together. The content continued with a workshop on the topic of nature, identity and group-related misanthropy. Here we first dealt with the question of our own identity. This led to interesting questions and discussions, which also provided an opportunity for discussion after the workshop. The country-specific focus on the first day was on national and nationalist identity in Germany, while the second day was about the history of Greek nationalism and the role of women in the nationalist context.

Well prepared in terms of content, the following day we drove over to the mainland by ferry and car to visit the Märthyr village of Lyngiades. The village had been destroyed and its inhabitants murdered by the Wehrmacht in retaliation for the murder of a Wehrmacht officer during the German occupation at the end of World War II. At the Kafenion, the coffee house of the rebuilt village, we had the opportunity to talk to the grandson of a survivor who volunteers to ensure that the history of the village is not forgotten through such talks.

We spent the last day of the meeting in Corfu Town and learned more about the Jewish community on the island in the synagogue, the anti-Semitism that already existed before the German occupation, which was further fuelled by the Nazis, and the deportation of many Jewish community members shortly before the end of the Second World War. History to listen to, look at, ask about, experience – much more tangible and palpable than any school lesson or museum visit.

It was an impressive seven days together with our old and new friends from Greece, many thoughtful, emotional moments, many good conversations and above all many wonderful encounters. We look forward to seeing you again in November in Berlin!