Thursday, July 07, 2016

Women and war

In the 1970/80s I lived in Germany and suffered culture shock. I learned the language quickly but a culture is much more than its language and learning to understand Germany was a challenge. It was the old world and I had grown up in the new world; it was Germany and I had grown up in an anti-German environment (my parents were both nineteen when WW2 broke out).

As an antidote and to gain understanding I decided to interview women about their war time experiences. My project grew and grew, and I grew with it. All in all I interviewed twenty two German and nine English women. I had to take a break in the middle as I was so overwhelmed by what I was hearing. I summarised the German transcripts in English and researched the period in the library in Wiesbaden. But then I started studying (not history) and put this project aside for some future date.

Now the future has caught up with me. It was a difficult project and perhaps that is why I put it off so long but I kept the box of tapes, transcripts and research and the box survived my many changes of abode.

When I looked at the transcripts again, I realised  that they are much more interesting than my original summaries. I am now re-translating the interviews from the original transcripts and digitising the tapes that survived the intervening years.

I am hoping to find a print outlet to take up this fascinating material, but in the meantime I have my head down and am busy in the world of 1940s Europe. It is non-visual,  thus the dearth of blog posts.

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