International Youth Meeting Centre at the Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre
Type of activity
The International Youth Meeting Centre in the Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre is located on the grounds of an almost completely intact former forced labour camp in Berlin, built in 1943 in an industrial district for over 2,100 people. Civilian forced labourers, Italian military internees, and concentration camp prisoners, forced to work in the nearby armament facilities (e.g. Reichsbahn, Pertrix battery factory), lived here.
The exhibitions, archives, and educational programmes focus on a forgotten victim group: about 8.4 million civilians from all over Europe were forced to work for the Nazi regime during World War II (up until 2006 without their own memorial site). This historical site, surrounded by residential buildings, is unique.
From 13 barracks, 11 have been preserved including the central administration building. The centre consists of seven barracks; the other barracks are used for other purposes (e.g. a nursery). In 2010, Barrack 13 (best preserved) was restored and transformed into a museum with minimal displays and building modifications.
The aim of the museum is to show the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of forced labour under Nazi rule, as well as to examine the roles of other people involved, encouraging further discussion. The centre targets a wide international audience with different levels of prior knowledge. As a central contact point, it deals with increasing number of enquiries on forced labour, especially by relatives of former labourers who wish to clarify their relatives’ fates.