Numerous oral history interviews are available to be researched at the media stations in the reading room. So far, we have conducted more than 60 life history interviews, each lasting several hours, in which a wide variety of dimensions of displacement and expulsion are addressed. The life-history approach makes it possible to place the subjective experience of forced migration in a life before and a life after forced migration and to analyse the different effects.

Our German interviewees come from the Banat, the Baltic Sea Region, the Bačka, Bessarabia, Bohemia, Bukovina, Danzig/Gdańsk, Moravia, the Neumark, East Brandenburg, East Prussia, Pomerania, Posen, Romania, from the Volga, Silesia, Transylvania, Slovakia, the Sudetenland, Hungary, and the Wartheland.
We also interviewed people who had to leave their homes in Bosnia, Poland, Syria, and Vietnam.

The following three examples will provide you with some insight.

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Hans Schiller
2019 gab Hans Schiller der Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung ein lebensgeschichtliches Interview.© SFVV

Hans Schiller

Hans Schiller was born on 28 October 1941 in Bütow as the son of an ethnic German family from Lithuania who had been resettled from their homeland to Pomerania in 1941. The family fled together to Gotenhafen at the beginning of 1945 and then across the Baltic Sea. In the process they were separated, and Hans Schiller as well as his mother Anna were brought by ship to Kolding (Denmark). After several short stays at various Danish refugee camps, they arrived in the Oksbøl camp, where they lived until October 1948. The family was reunited after having been separated for three years and Hans Schiller was for the first time able to consciously get to know the father and the older brother, who had been taken to Swinemünde (Świnoujście) by ship in 1945. The family henceforth lived in Lower Saxony. After finishing high school, Hans Schiller did an apprenticeship as an insurance salesman. He has been living in Berlin since 1968.

Ursula Strodt
2018 gab Ursula Strodt der Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung ein lebensgeschichtliches Interview.© SFVV

Ursula Strodt

Ursula Strodt (née Ruhnau) was born on 23 July 1923 in Mensguth in East Prussia. The medical student was obliged to serve as a Wehrmacht helper at Heiligenbeil airfield, from where she, two of her sisters, two American cousins, and the maid escaped by plane to Danzig. They fled on to Rheinsberg and lived with their father and their third sister in a converted bowling alley, as relatives were living there and their mother had already sent things there. As the Soviet tanks approached, Ursula Strodt's family fled to Flensburg. The mother did not survive the escape from Mensguth. She died in an American bombing raid aboard a ship in the port of Swinemünde (Świnoujście) on 12 March 1945. After the war, Ursula Strodt undertook teacher training and worked in the profession she loved until her retirement in 1987. She lived in Osnabrück until her death in 2020.

Johann Wann
2014 gab Johann Wann der Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung ein lebensgeschichtliches Interview.© SFVV

Johann Wann

Johann Wann was born on 1 February 1928 in Starčevo, Yugoslavia, in the Banat. Together with his father, his brother and about 80 other Danube-Swabian compatriots, he was taken to an inn by partisans in October 1944, where they were beaten and kicked and then driven into pits that were used for mass shootings. Johann Wann survived the execution and fled to a nearby field. After returning to his parents' house, the partisans tracked him down again and sent him to a Soviet labour camp, from which he managed to escape with the help of an acquaintance. He left Yugoslavia in 1958 and worked for an air technology company in Stuttgart.


E-Mail: interviews@f-v-v.de
Phone + 49 30 206 29 98-32