Disconcerting past – History education on mass atrocities
Justice and MemoryHistory Education

Barbara Thimm

Barbara Thimm is a museum practitioner from Germany who has been working as an advisor for the Civil Peace Service (GIZ) at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum since 2017.

After her studies in cultural pedagogy, Barbara engaged in civic education and worked at the two major former Nazi concentration camps Buchenwald and Dachau.  Many years of training staff in the guidance of student visits to memorial sites, created a strong need to reflect on the educational approaches and the underlying assumption that these visits substantially contribute to democracy. In a joint project, professionals from European memorial sites developed a training named “Disconcerting Past. Education at Memorial Sites” (in German: Verunsichernde Orte. Weiterbildung Gedenkstaettenpaedagogik) which was inspired by the Israeli BEZAVTA democracy concept. In the following years, she offered training in Germany, Belarus, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. Inspired by Buchenwald’s motto “memory needs knowledge”, her work at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum focuses on supporting documentation and preservation of the site, fact-based research, exhibitions and publications, developing the archive, and supporting the educational work in general.

Barbara is contributing to the EdJAM project by supporting the coordinator, sharing her ideas and experience, drafting the activities and the manual in English and conceptualizing the training together with the TSGM team.

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