Insights into working with family narratives

I decided to take part in this project because I am very interested in the culture(s) of remembrance and oral history. I have already worked with oral history before but not in the context of family history. Taking an interview in this context was quite a new experience for me. An interview in the context of family history is challenging for both the interviewer and the interviewee because of its much more personal nature. I do think, however, that because of this more personal nature, (oral) family history projects should be part of history classes at school.

I only got to know my relative Anna H., whom I interviewed in autumn last year as part of this project, which was a very exciting experience for me. Her stories also gave me some new insights into where and how my grandmother grew up.

The productive exchange between the participants from Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Germany and Austria was characteristic of this project. In this project, I also expanded my digital learning skills, as we only communicated online due to travel restrictions and tried many different tools.

Projects like this offer a glimpse into the lives of people whose memories might otherwise have been lost. The people who were interviewed as part of this project told of their everyday life and their experiences and thus also showed us how certain historical periods and events are remembered.


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