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The International Youth Meeting and Education Centre Albert Schweitzer

The International Youth Meeting and Education Centre Albert Schweitzer (IJBS De, CIAS Fr) is a youth dorm offering educational programmes on historical, social and political topics under the aegis of the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.). It was opened in 1994 and is located in the immediate vicinity of the German military cemetery in Niederbronn-les-Bains, where almost 16,000 dead from the Second World War are buried.

Here, we combine hospitality and good Alsatian cuisine with innovative education and historical research led by an experienced team and direct contact with our archives. Unique documents collected from the families of the dead buried on the military cemetery adjacent to the house are made available to our visitors and allow them to experience a discovery of heritage, touching history literally and figuratively. Thanks to an archive containing 350 biographies, historical events can be presented in a new light, through the eyes of those who lived through them. This approach to history at the level of the individual also makes it possible to raise ethical and political and philosophical questions that are often directly relevant to the issues of our time.

The Centre International Albert Schweitzer is a particularly suitable place for Franco-German meetings in a third place, on the one hand thanks to the numerous possibilities of visits and educational modules allowing us to reflect on our common past, present and future, and on the other hand thanks to the intercultural accompaniment that can be booked on site. Our bilingual team, trained in linguistic and intercultural activities, is at your disposal to offer you personalised support. Our recreational and fun language activities complete our educational offer and allow you to discover and become familiar with the language of the other. Rooms can be made available free of charge for your meetings, whether or not they are led by CIAS staff.

Our team

Our pedagogical team consists of experienced pedagogical staff in the field of historical and political education. We also focus on experiential education, language animation and historical research. Since history is always more than just the past, we relate it to current political and ethical issues in our programs.

It is important to us to offer our guests both an educational and a pleasant stay. We ensure this with Alsatian cuisine, which is also vegetarian and vegan. When it comes to accommodation, we attach great importance to customer-oriented service - for a feeling almost like at home. Practical questions during your stay will always find a sympathetic ear.

We support groups in their historical discoveries, promote international encounters and thus create a living culture of remembrance - an unforgettable experience in Alsace.



The "Verein zur Förderung Grenzüberschreitender Jugendbegegnungen - Association pour la Promotion des Rencontres Transfrontalières de la Jeunesse" was founded in 1999 with the aim of promoting cross-border youth encounters in the PAMINA Eurodistrict and the local anchoring of the Niederbronn "Albert Schweitzer" Youth Meeting and Education Center (JBS).

Young people are brought together in projects within the European border region. The aim is to promote civic engagement and active participation in political processes. Since its foundation, the association has worked in close partnership with the team at JBS Niederbronn. With the help of the association, for example, Franco-German vacation camps for young people and the play "Vergissmeinnicht - Ne m'oublie pas", which deals with the culture of remembrance of the Second World War from a German, French and Alsatian perspective, have been realized.

Contact: info.aprtj@gmail.com



For more than 25 years, we have been collecting testimonies and original documents concerning the soldiers and civilians buried in the cemetery from their families. Approximately 350 individual files have been compiled and provide a variety of insights into historical events.

This information forms the basis of our educational work and is available not only to researchers, families and the curious, but also, and above all, to students who work on these authentic archives during their stay at the Centre.

In addition, we keep visitors' notebooks from German and French military cemeteries all over the world. The numerous and mostly short inscriptions give us an insight into the thoughts, feelings and sometimes the questions of the visitors to these historic places. These notebooks are therefore a unique source for understanding the perception of military cemeteries over time.

Voluntary service

It is possible to do voluntary service at the Jugendbegegnuns- und Bildungsstäte (JBS) Niederbronn. The voluntary service usually lasts 1 year, starting in September and ending in August of the following year. During this time, volunteers have the opportunity to live near the JBS Niederbronn. The volunteer service is carried out in cooperation with the organization Initiative Chrétienne pour l'Europe (ICE-RF) and is funded by the European Solidarity Corps.

The tasks of the volunteers include

  • Organizational and content-related support in the implementation of programs for school classes, Franco-German and international youth encounters, conferences and seminars
  • Co-leading or independently leading workshops for groups
  • Language mediation during the implementation of projects (German, French, English)
  • Accompanying group excursions in the surrounding area
  • Assistance at reception and in office organization
  • Assistance in service and in the kitchen
  • Support in the organization of conferences, seminars, etc.

For further information, please contact the sending organization or JBS Niederbronn directly.