The Last Lesson

Stories of Student Opposition in the GDR and the ČSSR
The last lesson

Persecuted students - never heard of them? No wonder, because the fate of those who were discriminated against, expelled from school, sent to childrens' homes or even served prison sentences in the socialist dictatorships in Central Europe because of their political convictions or their church commitment, because of their lifestyle or musical taste or because of their pacifist convictions is little known. The consequences for the individual youths, however, were enormous. Not infrequently, small deviations from the norm could mean major cuts in their professional biographies and life plans.

In our German-Czech project The Last Lesson, we want to make the fate of the persecuted pupils known to a broad public. In a study trip from Berlin via Torgau and Jáchymov to Prague, ten young media-savvy multipliers from Germany and the Czech Republic visit relevant memorial sites, talk to contemporary witnesses and create cross-media products for digital distribution. Based on the conversations, they draft the scripts for four graphic novels, each of which traces the fate of two German and two Czech students who were persecuted. These will then be realised and published by professional illustrators.

The project will be rounded off by two public events at which the four graphic novels will be presented and a reference made to the current commitment of young people.

The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Czech NGO Političtí vězni. The project is funded by the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany, the German-Czech Future Fund and the Berlin Commissioner for Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.

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