Guten Tag, lieber Feind! A thought-provoking exhibition

In the aftermath of World War II, one of the guiding principles of Jella Lepman, founder of the International Youth Library (IYL), was to promote peace, tolerance and intercultural understanding through children’s books. The current children’s and young adults’ picture book exhibition ‘Guten Tag, lieber Feind’ (Hello, Dear Enemy), celebrated its homecoming to the IYL on 15 November 2014,  having travelled throughout the world to great acclaim since 1998 and it most certainly subscribes to this ethos of promoting values of peace and international understanding. It also raises awareness about the tragic effects of war, the loss of family, home and security, particularly on children. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, lieber Feind! An offer for reflection

A few windows, high underneath the attic roof, allow a little light to seep into the small space we now occupy. Rough wood walls are daubed with paint, and the tattered remains of posters hang desolately. Other brighter posters offer information. Propaganda perhaps? We understand little of what they say. Rope dangles emptily from the beams – for what purpose has it been placed there? A suitcase lies open, the contents spilling out, and in a corner it seems that someone seeking a little privacy has placed some sheets of cardboard around a few ragged cloths. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, Lieber Feind! Impressions of the Exhibition

Who or what is your biggest enemy? Is it war and the inevitable destruction that
follows? Perhaps it is a fear of those that appear different – speaking a foreign
language, wearing unusual clothes, or representing a divergent ethnic or racial
background.

From caged tigers and gun-toting cats to masked giants and unnamed governmental forces, the updated exhibition Guten tag, Lieber Feind! examines this concept through a menagerie of international picture books. Each of the books helps children understand either how to live peacefully with the “enemy,” or explores the consequences of conflict. The work of Jella Lepman and the International Youth Library has been to build bridges of understanding through children’s books. Weiterlesen