The 41st International Youth Meeting Dachau took place between July 29th and August 11th, 2023. Together with our team around 60 people from 17 nations met in the Max Mannheimer House to talk about history and culture of remembrance as well as current developments. After an exciting year we want to look back.

Before IYM Dachau

In January, Anja Schuller-Müller took over project management from Stefanie Steinbauer. In the upcoming weeks flyers and posters were designed and the website was revised to start advertising IYM Dachau 2023 and with beginning of March, the application process finally started.
The team welcomed six new members this year and met in the end of March for the first preparation weekend in Oberschleißheim near Dachau. Project management, team and members of the hosting organizations talked about the general frame for IYM Dachau 2023, which topics should be implemented, which experts and especially which eyewitnesses could be invited. The teamers decided about their individual responsibilities during IYM Da-chau as teamers for workshops, social media, fotos, free time activities, first aid, eyewitness-es, general organizations, night duties etc.
For the second preparation weekend in May, the whole group met again in Dachau at the Max Mannheimer House. Together, materials for the workshops were finalized, trips, guided tours and eyewitness talks were organized, and the team discussed the German Youth Law, Mental first aid and the awareness concept. After four days the program was fixed, but eve-ryone kept working individually to make sure everything was ready until August 29th.

During IYM Dachau

Day 1 – Welcoming
After the arrival in very rainy weather and the official welcoming, the participants introduced themselves to their roommates. They were divided in the six ‘color groups’ and then took part in the ‚House Rallye‘ to get to know their home for the upcoming two weeks.

Day 2 – Dachau
In the morning, every color group went on the ‘City Rallye’ and explored the Old Town of Da-chau. Following lunch, the teamers prepared the participants for the visit of the former con-centration camp Dachau.
After dinner, everyone joined for the Pub Quiz.

Day 3 – Memorial Site Dachau
The participants walked to the concentration camp memorial site and experienced the his-torical place they already heard so much about. Together with their guides they learned about the history of the camp, different groups of prisoners, the development of the camp system and memorial culture since World War II. Back in the Max Mannheimer House every-one met in their color group to discuss the visit with each other and the teamers.
In the evening, the participants went to ‘Freiraum’ in Dachau for the Opening Party to get to know each other better and celebrate together.

Days 4-6 – Workshops and trip to Munich
During the three following days everyone took part in one of the following workshops: ‘Intro-duction workshop’, ‘Photographic memories’, ‘Early concentration camps’, ‘Propaganda in the third Reich’ or ‘Introduction to Yiddish and Hebrew’. Furthermore, we had two movie screen-ings. The first one was ‘Maseltov Cocktail’ and the second one ‘Line 41’. We were happy to welcome its director Tanja Cummings and its protagonist and survivor Natan Grossmann for a talk afterwards. Mr. Grossmann surprised us all with his ability to sing spontaneously with a very powerful voice in several languages. For alternation participants, teamers and project management went to Munich on day 5. We were divided into three groups for guided tours through the synagogue Ohel Jakob, about Munich in National Socialism and the Old Town of Munich. The participants also enjoyed spare time to walk through the city by themselves. Afterwards everyone met in a traditional beer garden.

Day 7 – Day of remembrance
For the day of remembrance, the participants split up in four different groups to learn about important historical places connected to the history of the concentration camp Dachau. One group visited the so called ‘Kräutergarten’, a place where prisoners had to do forced labor for the SS. Another group went to the cemetery ‘Waldfriedhof’ in Dachau, where most former prisoners were buried who died after the liberation of the camp. There was also the oppor-tunity to follow the ‘path of remembrance’ in Dachau, the way, most prisoners had to walk between the train station in Dachau and the concentration camp. Afterwards this group took the train to Markt Indersdorf to explore the second ‘path of remembrance’ which gives infor-mation about a DP-camp for Jewish children that was set up there after the end of World War II. The last group got to know the story around the former SS shooting range Hebertshausen, where more than 4.000 Soviet prisoners of war were shot.
The final event of the day was the public reading of Niklas Frank, who talked about his book ‘Meine Familie und ihr Henker’.

Day 8 – Garden party
Saturday started with everyone helping to prepare for the Garden party, which we had to move into the hall due to the rainy weather. Decorations were made, songs and speeches were rehearsed and our international buffett with snacks from the home countries of the par-ticipants was set up. In the afternoon we welcomed our guests, especially the eyewitnesses David Sivor and Dr. Boris Zabarko. The show of teamers and participants was great and some of them really surprised all with their talent.

Day 9 – Eyewitness café
One of the highlights for every IYM Dachau is the eyewitness café. We were very thankful that Ernst Grube, David Sivor, Dr. Eva Umlauf and Dr. Boris Zabarko joined us to talk about their personal histories and experiences. The participants used the opportunity to ask questions and discuss with them. The team recorded the talks to preserve those valuable testimonies for the future.

Day 10+12 – Workshops
The workshops during the second week lastet one or two days. The participants chose be-tween ‘Antisemitism then and now’, ‘Creative writing’, ‘Culture of Remembrance’, ‘Music in the Holocaust’, ‘Reading about the Holocaust’ and ‘Why it matters’. On Monday, the day finished with the Movie Screening ‘Der weiße Rabe’ about Max Mannheimer and a talk with its direc-tor Carolin Otto. After the second day of workshops, team and participants joined for Karao-ke.

Day 11 – Trip to Regensburg
In the morning the whole group drove to Regensburg. We visited the museum ‘House of Ba-varian history’ and took part in guided tours through the exhibition. Afterwards everyone ex-plored the Old Town on their own. In the evening the group ‘d’Ampertaler’ came to the Max Mannheimer House to show and teach the participants and part of the team traditional Ba-varian dances.

Day 13 – Trip to Memorial Site Kaufering and Landsberg
The final part of the program was another trip. We all drove to the ‘European Holocaust Me-morial’ in Kaufering, a former subcamp of the concentration camp Dachau to learn about the people who were imprisoned there and the conditions which they had to endure.
Afterwards we went to Landsberg, the town nearby, where everyone had time on their own. Back in Dachau, the group had dinner and celebrated together in ‘Juz Ost’ at the ‘Farewell Party’.

Day 14 – Farewell
Despite two very intense weeks, time flew by, and we were all sad to say goodbye to each other so soon.

After IYM Dachau

In November team, project management and hosting organizations met in Landshut for the evaluation weekend to discuss this year’s experiences, the feedback from our participants and possible improvements for 2024 e.g., our work on social media throughout the year.

Thank you!

We thank everyone for taking part in our program, for sharing your thoughts and perspectives and for making this year’s IYM Dachau so special. We also thank all our partners and sup-porters who enable us year after year to organize such an amazing event! For next summer we decided to have ‘Antisemitism’ as focus topic for the second week and we hope again for many young people who are as engaged and motivated to join us for IYM Dachau 2024.