Traces of History

From childhood tales to a historical research work

Author: Noelia Blas Guillén Country: Spain Competition Topic: “My Family in History” (2012) Research Title: “Tales of My Childhood.” Noelia loved the times she stayed at her grandparents and she loved to listen to the stories they told her. When she got involved in a school project about the democratic transition of Spain from the Civil War to the present, something clicked in her head and she went and interviewed her grandparents. Part 1 I still remember very clearly that feeling of excitement and pure illusion that I experimented each time I had to stay at my grandparents’ house. There were special moments, there were ours and that was enough. I could spend hours and hours listening to any of the stories they were willing to tell me. They were mostly their own exp...[Read More]

7777 – From Ravensbrück to Kristianstad: Traces of History

Author: Fanny Jonsson Country: Sweden Competition Topic: “(E) MIGRATION – Emigration and immigration in a local perspective” (2011/2013) Research Title: “From Ravensbrück to Kristianstad.” (2013) Fanny has been learning a lot about WWII in school. So much, in fact, that she believes it has made her and many others feel numb about the topic. In order to fight that numbness, she decided to look at the fate of prisoners of Ravensbrück Women’s Concentration Camp. Ever since she was a child, her grandma has been telling her about three women who stayed with her family after WWII. All of the three women were survivors of the concentration camp Ravensbrück in Germany. They came to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark by way of the white busses that the Red Cross organis...[Read More]

“The Grand Hotel Axenstein as an example for tourism and the hotel industry during the Belle Époque in the centre of Switzerland”

Researched by Michèle Steiner Born in 1995 in Schwyz, Switzerland “The Grand Hotel Axenstein as an example for tourism and the hotel industry during the Belle Époque in the centre of Switzerland”.” (2013) The Belle Époque describes the time between the 1850ies and the breakout of the First World War in the year 1914. During this time, tour- ism, especially in Switzerland where I am from, flourished and guests from all over the world flocked to famous places in this country in order to enjoy some nice holiday weeks, discover the spectacular and beautiful landscape and maybe even become acquaintances with some rich guests and/or celebrities. Hotels of this time often represent the dreams of this era – they are fairytale castles and offer every possible luxury of this time: ...[Read More]

„A farewell to Poland, a farewell to Russia. The history of three Polish-Russian marriages.”

Estera Sendecka Born in 1993, Kraków, Poland High school graduate, future Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities student (Jagiellonian University) Topic of the 2011/2012 Polish History Competition: Poles and Russians in the 20th Century – Recorded and Effaced Stories Estera’s Research Topic: „A farewell to Poland, a farewell to Russia. The history of three Polish-Russian marriages.” (2011) Part 1 – Summary I wrote the story of three Polish-Russian marriages in the 20th century: Luba and Czeslaw £otarewicz, Larysa and Peter Kaczmarczyk, Catherine and George Sendeckij. Czeslaw £otarewicz, a Pole, was a soldier in the Home Army, the dominant Polish resistance movement in occupied Poland during World War II. He was imprisoned in 1944 and sentenced to serve 25 years in the cam...[Read More]

Traces of History: “Multiculturalism in Slovakia in the 20th century – the Bulgarian minority”

Kristina Christozova Born in 1995 in Martin, Slovakia “Multiculturalism in Slovakia in the 20th century – the Bulgarian minority” (2012) Kristina was born into a bicultural family – her mother is Slovak and her father is Bulgarian. Her mother and father met at the university in Sofia, Bulgaria, and after they got married they moved to Slovakia. Their daughter Kristina has the great opportunity to compare two cultures. She talks about Bulgarian migration to Slovakia, the importance of language, cultural clubs, and keeping traditions. PART 1 When I was just a little girl my mum and both grandmothers always made me weardifferent dresses and arranged special hairstyles for me. It was like a silent bet between them – who could make me look more like a doll? When their masterpiece was finished, ...[Read More]

“Bravery and strength: the story of my explorations concerning my grandmother’s time in post-WW2 Europe”

“Bravery and strength: the story of my explorations concerning my grandmother’s time in post-WW2 Europe”(2012). Sjur’s competition entry is the story of his Israeli grandmother’s time in Budapest, Hungary from 1946 to 1948, as well as her journey from Israel through Europe to get there. Sjur first began to get interested in this part of his family’s heritage on a family trip to Budapest in August 2011 with sixteen family members there, including his grandmother. She had volunteered to work for the Joint Committee on European Jewish Affairs which was an organisation initiated by several rich American Jews in order to supply financial and active support to the Jews of Europe who had survived the Holocaust. In 1946, at 25 years of age, she traveled to a city in which she kne...[Read More]

Traces of History: The scandals around Wilhelm Gräfer over the course of time and societal changes

Topic of the German History Competition 2010/2011: Scandals in History Topic of research paper: The scandals around Wilhelm Gräfer over the course of time and societal changes Authors: Malte Leimbach, Maria Junker, Jan Schmelter Gräfer was mayor of the town of Lemgo before and until the end of World War II. When the American troops came to the town in 1945 he went towards those troops and started negotiating with them over the surrender of the town, so Lemgo would not be bombarded and destroyed. The American officer he was negotiating with seemed to have a positive attitude towards Gräfer’s idea, but felt the necessity to talk to a German commander to confirm this, since Gräfer did not have any military power. Gräfer, therefore, went back to the base where the commanders were at the ...[Read More]