Mission statement for the work with volunteers

For more than sixty years, Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste has enabled various generations to deal with history in a self-critical manner and to take a politically responsible stand for a just and peaceful world. Each year, ASF sends about 180 volunteers for a one-year long service in 14 countries in Europe, Israel and the United States.

They are involved in and work for projects that target discrimination against people based on their religion, sexual identity, skin color or language. The volunteers work with Holocaust survivors and their descendants, with socially disadvantaged people and in historical and political educational work. The volunteers are characterised by their interest in the subject of remembrance of the time of National Socialism and their openness to ideological diversity. They actively campaign against anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of group-related misanthropy.

In our view, critical appropriation of one's own history, getting to know other narratives and understanding the relevance of history for current relationships are essential to ward off anti-democratic and misanthropic attitudes and to promote justice and peace.

Important partners for our work with the volunteers are non-governmental organisations, churches and religious communities. Not only our volunteers go through a constant productive learning cycle, but the paid and unpaid staff of our partner organisations are also engaged in this process.