Youth parliamentarians from Monheim and Malbork meet on the Rhine

Young people meet to examine Nazi past

Nine young people from the youth council of our Polish twin town of Malbork visited host families of Monheim’s youth parliamentarians in June. From 13 to 17 June, the JuPa in Monheim put on an exciting program on their shared history.

On the first day the young people, together with the Mayor of Malbork, Marek Charzewski, took part in a ceremony to lay some Stolpersteine (stumbling block) sidewalk plaques in memory of five forced laborers from Poland who were exploited or died here during the Second World War. While the plaques were fixed in place, the young Poles recited poems in their native language. The youngsters from Monheim played music and sang, creating a fitting mood to reflect on the past.

Day two was all about project work, so that the participants could get to know each other better. The group got creative: They painted on canvases, produced stop-motion films and even wrote a play, all of which focused on life in Europe. After paying Düsseldorf’s Landtag (house of federal state parliament) a visit and meeting a member of parliament there, the group journeyed on to Cologne to take part in a guided tour of the Ehrenfeld district. The tour was organized by the local NS-Documentation Center and was themed on the persecution of Jewish families. The youngsters also participated in a workshop on life in the Nazi era, and rounded off their day with a visit to Cologne Cathedral. The members of Malbork’s youth council and Monheim’s youth parliament all agreed the meeting was a great success. They had new experiences together, made friends, and are already looking forward to the next visit.

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