Summer Camp in Budapest

Restoration work on the old Jewish cemetery, interesting insights into the local Jewish life, moving conversations with eye-witnesses and citizens, historical and cultural city tours, a flash mob in the city centre and many inspiring discussions: that was the ARSP summer camp in the Hungarian capital.

At the start of our first week we got to know the Jewish Cultural Association Mazsike, our partner for the project, and took a first look at our main place of work for the camp, the Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of Budapest. During tours and talks with cultural scientists, historians and art historians through the former Budapest ghetto and the vast area of the cemetery we learned a lot about different schools and traditions of the Jewish faith, the complex history of Hungary and more recent political developments in the country.

Especially the history of Hungary during WW2 we were able to encounter in a special way. In cooperation with Mazsike we were honored to meet four survivors and eye-witnesses of the Holocaust and to listen to their moving stories. As youths they were deported, were held as forced laborers close to the frontlines or in Austria and survived several concentration camps until the end of the war.

On Friday evening we had the chance to join the Sabbath service of a Jewish community in their synagogue. For many of us it was our first Jewish ceremony.

During the second week our focus shifted a bit from the work on the cemetery towards more contextual work in different workshops. For instance we met Imre Mécs, an eye-witness of the Hungarian uprising of 1956, who, still to this day, is politically active in the pro-democracy movement. Together with our previous conversations with the survivors this formed the basis for our further discussions about the words resistance and courage and their meaning for us. We also asked: How does resistance look for us today? Trying to approach an answer we also explored the European Union as a means to negotiate conflict and avoid wars, but also the many problems it faces and it creates throughout Europe and the world. We talked about our perpectives on the EU and our wishes and demands for a better Europe. At the end of this process we went out into the city centre of Budapest and carried our ideas of a better Europe into the public, making them visible by writing all over Déak square. Many passers-by were interested in our actions and talked with us adding their own visions of a better Europe and were happy to take flyers and t-shirts of the project with them.

On the last day of the camp, during our goodbye dinner, we presented the biographies of Imre Lebovits who survived the Holocaust during Hungarian fascism and German occupation, and the aforementioned Imre Mécs we had been working with for the past week.


The exhibition showing our presentations on these biographies will be held on November 9th in Berlin-Neukölln. More information coming soon.

Übersicht Fotogalerie


Camp Film

During the summer camp in July 2017, the participants captured their impressions and experiences in videos and interviews. The result is this film, which gives insights into work and topics and shows very personal perspectives and stories.

On Youtube