Director & Founder
PD Dr. Irmtrud Wojak is the founder and director of the BUXUS STIFTUNG; she is a historian and curator. Her research focuses on political memory cultures and a historiography that explores resistance as a struggle for human rights. As a Frieda L. Miller Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University), she studied the history of individuals who, in the face of prevailing prejudice and political discrimination, maintained a standpoint based on legal norms and humanity. She initiated the research and education project of an interactive Fritz Bauer Library. Named after Fritz Bauer (1903-1968), the lawyer and human rights advocate who brought Auschwitz to justice, the project is dedicated to researching the history of the survivors’ resistance and thus contributing to a more just and humane world.
2004 curated I. Wojak curated the first major exhibition on the Auschwitz trial (1963-1965), and in 2009 she published the authoritative Fritz Bauer biography. In 2008 she completed her habilitation and received her venia legendi at the University of Hanover. Until 2005 she was deputy director at the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt. She was Head of the History Department of the International Tracing Service (Bad Arolsen) in 2007/08 and Founding Director of the “NS-Documentation Centre” Munich in 2009/11.
Tobias Fetzer (M.A.) studied religious and historical sciences at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. His research focus here were the social movements of the modern era. In his master’s thesis he investigated how stakeholders of the city, the state and the social movement remember the time of the squatters’ movement in Bochum. The analysis of the remembrance of this movement is also the topic of his thesis project, which he started in 2020.
Tobias Fetzer was able to first gain experience in scientific work in various student interdisciplinary research projects on topics such as anti-Muslim racism, evangelical faith communities, as well as in field work for his master’s thesis and his dissertation project.
At the Fritz Bauer Forum of the BUXUS STIFTUNG, he is responsible as a research assistant for the virtual implementation of the project “When I leave my office, I enter hostile territory” in addition to research work.
Jennifer Haas (M.A.) studied English, German and History in the interdisciplinary Master’s program Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MaRS). As a research assistant at the Fritz Bauer Forum of the non-profit BUXUS STIFTUNG, she is project manager for the Fritz Bauer Library and Archive. Jennifer Haas contributes to the evaluation of the “Political Archive” in Bochum for the e-learning platform ” bo-digital-engaged” as well as to the conception of the e-learning platform for it.
She gained practical experience in archive research mainly in seminars during a term abroad at the University of Reading, as well as in a workshop series on Jewish remembrance culture. She also gained experience in the conception of exhibitions during an internship at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg. As a research assistant at the Ruhr University in Bochum, she has contributed to initiative projects to promote student teaching and research.
Magdalena Köhler (M.A.) studied Media Studies, Anglophone Studies and Theater Studies in Marburg, Galway and Bochum. Her interdisciplinary research focused on individual and collective memory as well as (inter-)national culture of remembrance.
In her master’s thesis, she investigated the enactment of the memory of Holocaust witnesses on the theater stage. She was able to gain practical experience through her volunteer work as well as by working at film festivals and theaters.
At the Fritz Bauer Forum of the non-profit BUXUS STIFTUNG, she is a research assistant responsible for the interactive, digital Fritz Bauer Library of Human Rights Defenders and the organization of events.
Dr phil. Barbara Dahlhaus studied German, English and social sciences at the Ruhr University Bochum and was then a research assistant at the English Department of the RUB as part of the Collaborative Research Center “On the emergence of historiography in England in the 19th century”, 1983 doctorate on Doris Lessing. In 1985 she started as a research assistant for the subject German as a foreign language at the RUB – from 2002 to 2019 she headed the department.
The focus of her work in the applied scientific didactics of the subject German as a foreign language – especially the development of mediation processes in the culturally divergent academic context – includes i.a. her involvement in the distance learning project of the Goethe Institute and in numerous DAAD projects as part of the internationalization of German universities.
As an author and trainer in the distance learning project of the Goethe-Institut, she accompanies the turnaround in Central and Eastern Europe in the 90s, followed by numerous short-term lectureships for teacher training worldwide. From 1997 to 2015 she was particularly involved at the Tongji University in Shanghai with a wide range of work priorities.
In the 1990s she also completed part-time training as a client-centered art therapist in Siegen and worked part-time as a coach.
Since May 2022 she has been a volunteer at the Fritz-Bauer-Forum in Bochum, which she supports with her experience and network.
Reinhold Spratte, a trained machinist, studied German, educational science and philosophy in Münster. Until 2004 he was a teacher at the Schiller-Gymnasium in Witten. After retiring, he worked on a voluntary basis in the Witten/Tczew town twinning. Through various events and lectures, he introduced people to Polish literature in the spirit of German-Polish reconciliation. Parallel to his voluntary work, Spratte is a painter. In addition to designing various book covers, he acts as an advisor in the Fritz Bauer Forum and makes his network and experience as a teacher available.
„MY WAY – Die Geschichte von Hussain Hussaini“ und Fritz Bauer und Raphael Lemkin Menschenrechte Film Prize
Jakob Gatzka (MAG.) concentrated on film studies during his master’s degree in German and Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. He wrote his master thesis on Stanley Kubrick’s last film “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999). From 2004 to 2005 J. Gatzka studied at the University of Television and Film (Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Munich). He was assistant to the German film and television director Dominik Graf.
Later J. Gatzka worked for FreeX, an agency for authors and directors, and as a writer for German television (“Soko Wismar”, ZDF). Currently J. Gatzka is developing several documentary and other fictional film projects, among others for the non-profit BUXUS STIFTUNG. 2021 was the premiere of his documentary film about an Afghan boy and his escape to Germany (with numerous interviews): MY WAY – The Story of Hussain Hussaini – One Who Survived. Jakob Gatzka is the director of the “Fritz Bauer and Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Film Award” of the BUXUS STIFTUNG and the Berg Institute Oceana Aufklärung in Madrid.
Raoul Wallenberg Research Initiative RWI-70
Susanne Berger (B.A.) earned a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from the American University in Washington DC. Her research focuses on the political and economic aspects of Raoul Wallenberg’s humanitarian mission in Budapest and their impact on the study of his disappearance. She has also focused on the fate of other disappeared Swedish citizens in the Soviet Union after 1945. From 1995 to 2001 she was an advisor to the Swedish-Russian working group on the fate of Raoul Wallenberg.
Since 2009, S. Berger has been a consultant for the campaign to free the Swedish-Eritrean writer Dawit Isaak, who has been imprisoned in Eritrea without charge or trial since 2001. She is the initiator and coordinator of the Raoul Wallenberg Research Initiative (www.RWI-70.de) and has written over a hundred reports and articles on R. Wallenberg. RWI-70 has conducted three successful “Raoul Wallenberg International Roundtables” in Budapest (May 16), Moscow (October 16) and Stockholm (September 17), bringing together legal experts, family members, victims and historians for discussion.
Former associates in the development of our projects
Stefan Schuster (MA.) has a degree in therapeutic pedagogy. He worked as a research associate at the BUXUS STIFTUNG until March 1, 2021 and is guest author of the Fritz Bauer Blog. He is currently doing his doctorate at the Faculty of Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen and is investigating the socio-historical processes of alienation and reification that have led to the exclusion of disabled people. He is also a lecturer at the University of Koblenz-Landau in the Distance Learning Course on Inclusion and Schools and at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt in the course of study Integrative Curative Education.
He gained practical experience in the field of pedagogy in a workplace and a residential home for disabled people, a boarding school for young people who are described as “difficult to educate” and in a youth hostel for unaccompanied minors who are refugees.