"Up to now the expulsion of Polish Jews from Berlin has not been properly researched," said Pickhan. When the seminar was first held in 2014, the students were able to contact survivors or relatives from six families, and they are still in constant dialogue with them. The students were also inspired to dedicate Stolpersteine, memorial stones laid in pavement outside Holocaust victims' former homes or businesses, to the vicims they had researched. Pickhan, Bothe, and their students aim to reach more families affected by the deportation in October 1938.
In the exhibition they will trace the lives of victims and survivors of the deportations in 1938. The exhibition will be developed along with the Aktives Museum Berlin and the Fundacja Tres, a Polish foundation commemorating the Polenaktion in the town of Zbaszyn, where about 9,000 people were deported.
Pickhan was one of the first professors at Freie Universität to begin incorporating testimony after Freie Universität became the first full access site in Europe in 2006. Bothe is a researcher at the Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg and currently in the process of completing her doctoral thesis at Freie Universität. It deals with the Visual History Archive and how digitalization shapes the ways in which we research, write, and perceive the history of the Holocaust.