In November 1998 commited citizens of Barth and its environs founded the association "Förderverein Dokumentations- und Begegnungsstätte Barth e. V." that currently has 25 members.
The association's objectives are to initiate, facilitate, and support research projects and educational work related to the region's history between 1933 and 1945.
The main focus of the organisation’s work is related to the former sites of the concentration camp Ravensbrück out-station in Barth and the memorial dedicated to its victims, as well as the memorial and former site of the prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft I.
The organisations aim is to investigate and document the fate of the prosecuted, displaced, and killed, and also to interview contemporary witnesses (survivors as well as inhabitants of Barth and its surroundings) and preserve the traces of the past. The rarely found concentration of armament industries, military training, forced labour camps, concentration and POW camps in one town during the Nazi period still leaves many questions to be answered.
The association's members seek to get in touch with survivors of the concentration camp Barth, the Stalag Luft I, and the forced labour camps. To this end, we organise conferences, meetings, and discussions among contemporary witnesses, citizens of Barth, pupils, and guests of the town.
We share our research results with the interested public as we hope to encourage an open discussion about the investigated issues and to strengthen the tolerance towards other cultures as well as democratic ideas and attitudes. We seek and develop educational approaches in order to promote the dialogue between generations and cultures.
To contribute to the preservation of democracy, peace and to promote international understanding we support and organise international meetings where historical issues and current problems are discussed.
Apart from providing history related information and our educational work we furthermore contribute to the region's tourism as there is a growing number of German and international guests who are interested in our work and how the town's past is worked up. Survivors and particularly their descendants come to visit the historical sites and to support our research.
We already have achieved important aims: The inauguration of a "Path of Remembrance" on the historical grounds of the former concentration camp Barth, the creation of a documentation center and meeting place where the exhibition "12 of 750 Years - Barth 1933-1945" is displayed as well as the release of a touring exhibition. Further projects arise from our research as for example the investigation of the impact of the Heinkel airplane and armament production on the fate of concentration camp prisoners and forced labourers on the Death March to Rostock. In this context we will also deal with each prisoners' biography after the return to their home countries. A further issue to be investigated is the usage of the Stalag Luft I and its accommodation facilities during the postwar period.