Alessandra, a volunteer at GLL

On 17th December 2022, together with YouthBridgeMunich (insta account: @youthbridgemunich) we hosted an Oral History workshop, where we concentrated on the topics of antiracism, antizigatismus, discrimination and hatred between groups, we discussed the situation of victims of the holocaust and remembered the victims, their stories and tried to find concrete solutions to avoid history repeating itself. We were a big group of about 25 people, half form the Youth Bridge Organization and half made up by local participants and volunteers of the city of Passau. We were divided in small groups of 4-5 people and together we had to discuss the testimony of a victim of the holocaust and find answers to the following questions:

  • How do anti-Semitism, anti-Gypsyist, racism, discrimination, exclusion, hatred and wars develop?
  • What happened in the lives of the people presented?
  • What did the other people around them do to cause such things?
  • Where were there efforts to change the situation positively?
  • What made the situation worse for the people?
  • What might have made it bearable or improved it?

The workshop lasted from about 9:30 to 12:00 so the time was very short to get to know each other that well, but still the discussion and outcome of the workshop was very inspiring and good, being divided in smaller groups where participants from Munich and Passau were mixed together was a good solution to enhance discussion. In my opinion, a success of this experience was the fact that, at least for me, I had to listen to an oral history testimony of a person, of about 3-4 hours, and from listening to the testimony I learned so much, about empathy and also the importance to listening to such stories, it was emotional and enrichening. What I found challenging was the language of communication, we found some oral histories in English but some were only in German and some people couldn´t understand German, but that was easily solved by assigning English oral histories to people who could only understand English.