Displaced aged 12 from Silesia to Germany (1945), later fled from East to West Germany.
Fled with his mother and sister during the Bosnian War. After the war, the family returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kerim came back to Germany to study.
Examples of videos selected by theme
Country of origin/transit
https://archivderflucht.hkw.de/en/viktor https://archivderflucht.hkw.de/en/khesrau-behroz https://archivderflucht.hkw.de/en/nelly-neufeld https://archivderflucht.hkw.de/en/nadja-salzmann
Ethnic Germans in Russia:
Reference to the GDR (East Germany), German unification
History of the two German states:
Learning sites | face-to-face + online
Implementation is conceivable in different settings. Schools and libraries, as storehouses of “official” sources, are predestined sites. The method can also be implemented on an entirely digital basis.
Educational objectives and practical options
The participants understand how oral history differs from official history writing and that the two can contrast with or complement each other. They understand the multiperspectivity of the “many truths” behind news/encyclopaedia entries/history books. Contextualisation 1. helps to grasp this fact and 2. lowers the hurdles that might arise when using the Archive.
Knowledge of complex situations is conveyed through personal stories (zooming in and out), Exploration of a multi-perspective, differentiated view of history and people.
Detailed description of the workshop/module
1. Warm up (20’)
What historical event can you think of?
–> How do you know about it? Collect keywords: family, personal experience, books, school, museums, etc.
All of these are sources! And you create some of your own as well:
Messenger communications, chats
–> What are typical characteristics of these?
> plain language (orality)
> everyday stories
THIS IS VERY LIKE ORAL HISTORY.
giving a voice to groups who don’t otherwise have one
video interviews + transcripts
compared with/embedded within other sources
2. Getting to know the Archive of Refuge (30’-60’)
Watch films/sequences in small groups
–> The teacher decides which film to watch based on the syllabus/context (see below for a selection interviews by theme). –> We recommend choosing a 15-30-minute sequence from one of the interviews.
While they are watching the film, the participants should each write down questions that come to mind:
What didn’t I understand?
What would I like to know more about?
Afterwards all the questions are collected and written on separate cards. These cards are then shuffled and each participant or mini-group picks a question. The next step will be to answer it.
Brief reflections and recording of impressions:
> What perspective is the narrative told from? (gender, nationality, political affiliation, minority, geographic focus?)
3. Work stage – find answers (45’-90’)
Kick-off discussion: How do I go about my research? / How and where do I find answers?
Independent research in small groups based on criteria explained in the guides or in the sources and resources provided, where appropriate
4. Construct dialogues / context with the Messenger (30’-60’)
The participants are asked to simulate a chat dialogue around the question they picked. The principal aim is to design this in such a way that those who originally asked the question understand the answer clearly. The participants play two roles at once: that of the person asking the question and that of the person giving the answer.
Formulation – What do I need so as to understand? How do others understand me? Encourage the participants to use simple, clear language. We are not trying to compose an academic text, but chat dialogues that anyone can understand.
A chat simulation might go like this: The first (incoming) chat message to include is the question that needs answering (e.g. “What was the Free German Youth?”). This is followed by the outgoing message, e.g. “It was the youth organisation in East Germany”, etc. An entire dialogue can be generated out of this by answering the question step by step (e.g. “Did people have to join it?” – “No, it wasn’t compulsory, but young people who didn’t join it were excluded from a lot of things.”)
5. Presentation and reflections (45’-60’)
The participants present their chat dialogues or show their answer to the person who originally asked. In doing so, they explain how they approached the task, what sources they found/used and, if appropriate, where they needed to resolve things that were unclear.
Comparison with the interview in the Archive of Refuge: From what perspective have sources used in research been written?
> Who by?
> With what knowledge/conditions?
> With what aim?
What do the official sources describe and how does this compare with the eye-witnesses?
Objective: Develop an understanding of the passive and active forces in history – e.g. in wars, laws, political decision-making – and how these influence individuals and groups.
Questions for reflection and ideas for discussion (also appropriate if there are critical questions):
Can history/a source be universally valid?
Is history a collective experience?
What reasons might there be why some stories are never written up?