Memory Dialogues Workshop

“Memory Dialogues” is an interdisciplinary workshop that took place in October 2019, bringing together students and teachers from universities in Germany, Norway, Poland, and Latvia. The workshop focused on exploring memories and representations of World War II history, with a specific emphasis on the history of the Hamburg deportations of Jews, Sinti, and Roma during the Nazi regime.

The workshop involved participants from various countries and academic backgrounds, including journalism, design, media production, and public history. It was a collaborative effort between the University of  Ostwestfalen-Lippe and the “Documentation Center Hanover Station Memorial,” which is part of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. The goal was to develop concepts for a new permanent exhibition in Hamburg’s HafenCity, set to open in 2022.

The focus of the workshop was on commemorating the history of over 8,000 Jews, Sinti, and Roma who were deported from Hamburg and Northern Germany to ghettos and concentration camps in Eastern Europe. The historical framework centered around the deportation of Jews from Hamburg to Riga on December 6th, 1941.


Throughout the workshop, we engaged in discussions, presentations, and guided tours to deepen our understanding of the historical events and their significance. They also visited museums and sites related to the Holocaust, which provided insights into different approaches to memorialization and representation.


The workshop aimed to foster a meaningful dialogue about how to remember and commemorate the Nazi crimes, particularly focusing on the Hamburg deportations.

Meeting Mr. Vestermanis was not only a very personal and emotional experience, but he greatly influenced the workshop participants in the way they would work on the concepts for the memorial in Hamburg.

Jan Casper, Sara Elkmann, Linda Graul, Malte Grünkorn, Lily Prollius

Report writers
Poland & Latvia


Through visits at the former Riga ghetto, the WW2 Museum in Gdansk and the Stutthof concentration camp we could immerse ourself in the topic while learning deatiled information about the Holocaust.

Matteo, Amandine, Lily, Tom,

Our group concept

Concept & user journey

Our concept merges the symbolism of the Jewish tree of life and the autumnal trees from the forest memorials in Rumbula and Bikernieki. It encourages visitors to actively engage with the history of the Hamburg deportations by creating an interactive experience. A wall in the entrance hall would be covered by a screen displaying falling leaves over railroad tracks. Visitor movements would cause the leaves to swirl, capturing their attention. Upon closer inspection, some leaves would bear names of deportees, which could be explored through an augmented reality (AR) app accompanying the exhibition. This concept aims to evoke reflection and exploration by blending natural imagery with digital interaction.