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Nuclear Weapons Politics: Learn – Experience – Participate

Julia Kramer

While Germany can be seen as a key player in NATO nuclear policies, the German public, and even more so the youths, hardly know even basic facts about nuclear weapons. According to a survey sampled by Stratcom in 2006,1 only 12% of the German population know for sure that nuclear weapons are actually deployed in Germany. As nuclear weapons are a non-issue in most of the school curricula and materials, it is hardly surprising that young persons are often not even aware of basic facts about nuclear weapons, their current role in military doctrines, and the dangers.


To address this deficiency, INESAP together with IPPNW2 Germany, the teachers trade union GEW, the office of the Lord Mayor of Hannover (who is a Vice President of the Mayors for Peace organization) and others developed the participatory educational project Nuclear Weapons Policy: Learn – Experience – Participate. By involving young people in the development of teaching and workshop materials and adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the project aims at making informative, easy-to–use, and appealing materials available in order to raise awareness in the wider public. The underlying premise is that knowledge can stimulate consciousness – and consciousness can stimulate action.

In cooperation with the European youth network BANg (Ban All Nukes generation), the first work result has now been published. The poster Nuclear Weapons in Europe provides an up-to-date introduction to the issue of nuclear weapons, with a particular reference to Europe. It can be used in classes or workshops for interactive work with youths aged 15 or older. The poster covers the topics Science – Technology; History – Politics; Culture – Psychology; and What does this have to do with me?. The front page of the poster cites voices of young people from all over the world and contains a historic timeline. The world map on that page can be used, for instance, for an introductory quiz about nuclear weapon states and nuclear weapon free zones.

The poster is available in English and German, with the German version containing five additional sheets with more detailed information on the various topics that are covered by the poster.3

Further educational material and a

DVD are in the making. Support in terms of scientific consultancy, help to distribute the material, and assistance with fundraising4 is gratefully accepted.

Nuclear free future

Julia Kramer, Conflict Resolution M.A., is the project coordinator of “Nuclear Weapons Policy: Learn – Experience – Participate”; jkkramer [at] gmx [dot] net. To see the poster, see www.atomwaffenlernen.info.


  1. 1. STRATCOM Strategic Communidations, Nuclear Weapons in Europe. Survey Results in Six European Countries, Study coordinated by Strategic Communications for Greenpeace International, May 25, 2006; www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/nuclear-weapons-in-europe-survey.pdf.
  2. 2. IPPNW = International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
  3. 3. Posters can be ordered at at www.atomwaffenlernen.info/inhalt/bestellung.htm.
  4. 4. Just prior to publication of this article, the European Union declined a grant application for the project which might therefore have to be cancelled due to a lack of money.