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Module - Evian Conference from 1938

Based on the international conference on refugees in Evian in 1938 the participants deal with four core questions:

  • To what extent am I responsible to help foreigners?
  • What is the proper balance between self-concerns and international obligation for refugees?
  • What are legitimate and non-legitimate concerns for rejecting refugees?
  • To what extent is diplomacy effective or necessary to solve such problems?


Pointing at the Evian conference as an example for the failure to solve the Jewish refugees’ crisis of the 1930s by international diplomatic means.

Understanding the international obligation to help refugees in crisis both in the 1930s and today.

To discuss the continuity of questions regarding refugee crises.

Time Frame

90 minutes

Stage 1: 20 min

Stage 2: 55 min (introduction 5 min, Re-Enactment 45 min, closing remarks 5 min)

Stage 3: 15 min

Stage 1

Stage 1 aims at stimulating an individual reflection on attitudes towards refugees and immigration policies based on notional statements.

Stage 2

By reenacting the setting and central narratives of the international conference on refugees in Evian in 1938 this stage aims at providing historical knowledge and further reflecting the four core questions.

Stage 3

The conclusion aims at saving and applying the learning results by through a replay of stage 1. Possible changes in the results will be discussed in plenum.

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