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The “Valentin” Submarine Pens Memorial of the State Agency for Civic Education

The “Valentin” Submarine Pens Memorial of the State Agency for Civic Education

Storytime with: Dr. Thomas Köcher

[Translate to English:] Dr. Thomas Köcher
Dr. Thomas Köcher, director of the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung (State Agency for Civic Education) and director of the Valentin Submarine Pens Memorial.

WHY is it important to study the history of the “Valentin” Submarine Pens?

HERE’S WHY – The “Valentin” submarine pens, referred to as a “bunker” in German, are the remains of a German U-boat pen from World War II. In the years from 1943 to 1945, thousands of people from across Europe were forced into labor here, with more than 1,600 dying from malnutrition, disease, and arbitrary killings. The Valentin Submarine Pens Memorial is a place for learning how authoritarian regimes and dictatorships function, how racist societies discriminate against people, divide them hierarchically, and exclude them; and how crimes against humanity are made possible. This knowledge is more important today than it has been ever before.

WHY is there a bit of the University of Bremen at the Valentin Submarine Pens Memorial?

HERE’S WHY – The commitment of individuals and civil society, including teaching staff at the University of Bremen, made a critical contribution to the creation of this memorial. Many of the memorial’s employees are (former) students of the university. The Valentin Submarine Pens Memorial is an exceptional place of learning which connects with Bremen’s educational landscape at many points.