Pursuant to the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation Act (section 2, paragraph 1), the Foundation is responsible for designing, managing and maintaining the Bergen-Belsen and Wolfenbüttel Prison memorials both as places of commemoration dedicated to the victims of Nazi persecution and the Nazi judiciary, and as places of learning for future generations.
- The first phase of the redesign of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial was completed in 2007 with the opening of the new Documentation Centre, which houses permanent exhibitions covering the Bergen-Belsen POW camp,
- A new exhibition building is scheduled to open at the Wolfenbüttel Prison Memorial in 2019. The exhibitions here will focus on judicial crimes under the Nazis.
Pursuant to the Lower Saxony Memorials Act (section 2, paragraph 3), the Foundation supports non-governmental memorials and remembrance initiatives by providing funds as well as general and academic expertise.
- The federal state of Lower Saxony has been providing an annual budget for supporting the work of smaller memorials since 1993. The main beneficiaries of these funds have been the Papenburg, Moringen, Sandbostel, Salzgitter-Drütte, Liebenau and Ohrbeck memorials.
- Other memorials, such as the ones in Braunschweig, Lüneburg, Schwanewede and Wehnen, as well as remembrance initiatives and other organisations in Lower Saxony can apply to the Foundation for project funding.
- The Lower Saxony Memorials Development Department provides initial advice and continuous support for projects related to the remembrance of Nazi crimes in Lower Saxony. The department offers both research and funding expertise.
- The Foundation funds the educational work of the memorials through grants for support programmes. Grants are also available for trips to memorials in Lower Saxony, especially for schools.
Pursuant to the Lower Saxony Memorials Act (section 2, paragraph 4), the Foundation supports research into the history of Lower Saxony between 1933 and 1945. To this end, it has established a central documentation office for the Nazi period in Lower Saxony.
- The Documentation Office for the History of Persecution and Resistance in Lower Saxony, 1933-1945 was set up in July 1993. It provides support for memorials, remembrance initiatives, research institutions, local councils, schools and interested individuals researching, documenting or teaching the history of the Nazi period. One of the main tasks of the Office’s staff members is to collate information from archives both in Germany and abroad and make it accessible.
- In addition to organising regular workshops and pursuing its own research projects, the Office organises a central conference for memorial staff and members of remembrance initiatives in Lower Saxony.
In addition to the activities listed above, the Foundation’s work also involves:
- organising public discussions with survivors and other witnesses, film screenings, theatre performances and readings;
- setting up exhibitions and holding academic conferences and workshops;
- research, teaching and further education projects;
- further training for memorial staff members, teachers and other information disseminators;
- publishing books and other material.