Student wins prize for audio feature on the NSU

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The graduate student Bernadette Rauscher (on the far left) has won the Mosaik Youth Prize fo the cities Nuremberg and Munich for her audio feature. (Image: Dagmar Lautner)

During her Master’s degree in “Theater – Research–Transfer”, Bernadette Rauscher worked together with high school students from Weißenburg to produce the audio feature “Warum hört das nicht auf zu brennen? Oder: Vom Gestern im Heute. Auf den Spuren des NSU” (“Why does it not stop burning? Or: About the yesterday in today. On the trail of the NSU”). The feature deals with the murders committed by the Nazi underground organization NSU, and the basic question “What is right-wing violence?” It focuses on the NSU crimes committed in Nuremberg. The audio feature was broadcast for the first time in the magazine for culture and politics “Stoffwechsel” on “Radio Z” in Nuremberg on September 9, 2022, the 22nd anniversary of the attack on Enver Simsek.

Why involve young people?

Bernadette Rauscher knew from the outset that she wanted to do the project with young people. She believes that not nearly enough attention is given to considering current cases of right-wing extremist violence and racism in daily life at school. She discovered the topic herself after listening to a radio feature on the NSU and a presentation given by the victim of a pipe bomb attack, Mehmet O. “Taking an artistic and creative approach significantly raises your own awareness for the topics,” she explains That is important. We are only aware of the things that we constantly see and hear about, it is these things that become important to us.

How can you find words to describe something that leaves you speechless?

The high school students focused on the topic for a good six months. They conducted extensive research during their history lessons. In addition, one small group took a more in-depth look at the topic and worked together with Bernadette Rauscher to draw up a concept for the audio feature. “How can you find words to describe something that leaves you speechless? Am I in a position to work on the topic of racism when I myself have almost no experience of it? How can you take a sensitive and creative approach to the topic?”

“We decided to take action to avoid become entrenched in passive horror or silence about the cruel crimes.”

Bernadette Rauscher describes the visit to the scenes of the crimes in Nuremberg as very moving. “It is something completely different if you just handle the crimes from a theoretical point of view. Actually seeing the site of the crime with your own eyes, hearing the sounds at that place, seeing everyday life that goes on there, that was very moving for the whole group. During the audio feature, listeners are taken on an acoustic journey and get an impression of what it is like to be at the location themselves.”

The winners of the Mosaik Youth Award receiving the award on stage.
On stage during the prize-giving ceremony for the Mosaik Youth Award 2023 are Markus König, Louisa Bartolmäs, Greta Hajdufi, Amelija Filipovic, Bernadette Rauscher, Jan Cumme and Abdul Kerim Simsek. (Image: Dagmar Lautner)

Facts, voices, feelings

In the audio feature, emotional impressions and voices of the victims’ relatives are brought together with explanations from experts and the thoughts and feelings of the young people. This gives listeners not only an insight into the victims’ personal history, but also a portrayal of the thoughts behind right-wing violence. Visiting an NSU tribunal during which Semiya Simsek speaks about the death of her father Enver Simsek demonstrates how deep-seated the pain and grief are. The audio feature that Bernadette Rauscher produced entirely by herself does not only convey emotional impressions of the victims, it also covers how the NSU murders have influenced politics.

“Why does it not stop burning?”

The key question “Why does it not stop burning?” refers to the zombie fire referred to in the audio feature. This is a fire that appears to have been extinguished, but that continues to smolder underground ready to break out again at any time. “Like right-wing violence,” according to the speakers in the audio feature. Bernadette Rauscher intends using the prize money to raise even more awareness for the topic.

Mosaik Youth Award

The prize-giving ceremony for the Mosaik Youth Award 2023 was held on March 23 in Nuremberg.

With the award, the cities of Nuremberg and Munich annually recognize projects that take a stance against racism (in daily life) and stand up for a culture based on respect for all people. The focus is also on intercultural dialog and interaction. The award-winning projects ought to be both current and sustainable.

Master’s degree program Theater – Research – Transfer

The Master’s degree program Theater-Research-Transfer offers a research-based and career-oriented qualification for anyone interested in content and issues relating to theater studies, focusing on artistic practices and transfer processes in cultural institutions. Prospective candidates can apply with an idea for a project, with no restrictions as to form or content. The next round for applications for winter semester 2023/2024 starts on April 13, 2023.