Professor Lücke teaches a course for students interested in becoming secondary history teachers in Germany. An important component in this course is an eight-week internship in which the teachers in training have to implement a complete project for integrating testimonies in their history classes. In the course of their internships, the teachers in training invite 60 high school students ages 16 to 18 to visit the Freie Universität Berlin on three separate occasions to watch testimonies from the VHA and interact with the teachers in training about the content. The teachers in training work with the high school students on topics such as antisemitism, Jewish history in Europe, and the history of World War II. This provides a context for the content so that high school students understand the testimonies in the classroom. At the end of the internships the teachers in training are required to write a 40-page report reflecting on the use of testimonies in history education, practical things that worked, and difficulties that arose when using testimonies in their high school classes.
Usage of the testimonies in the internship program is useful in that first, the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust are the most commonly taught subjects in German history. Second, a common aspect of history is related to the connection between history and language. Teachers become aware of the use of language by searching the Archive to find testimonies that illustrate circumstances in significant ways. Professor Lücke uses the example from the VHA of Margot Ashworth, who was born in Berlin in 1927. She remembers a situation in school around 1934, when she was told to sing the German national anthem. She states, “The only time that I got in trouble was when I could not sing the national anthem properly. It’s not a difficult song, but the national anthem shows you a little bit about the Third Reich.” During the testimony she sings one bar of the anthem in German. Translated from German it means Germany over everything—over everything in the world. In this short passage of her testimony, Professor Lücke concludes, Ashworth explicitly uses the German language to highlight a special aspect of her persecution. By singing the anthem in German, it is code switching, changing from English to the German language. The teachers in training use this short video clip to ask their high school students to reflect on why Ashworth suddenly used the German language when singing the national anthem. The interchanging of language here is code switching, which helps Margot remember the persecution as an act closely connected to language.