Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes

The Learning Partnerships looks back on an exciting and rich first half of the project.

 

http://www.silentheroes.eu/

The project has made a vibrant start during its first partners meeting in Amsterdam during which the partners have agreed on a structure, method, division of tasks and timeline to approach the project objectives to

  • be a platform for exchange on the subject of hiding in museum-, memory- and learning environment
  • find and map stories of hiding and build a website that makes them accessible for a broader public.
  • give the visitor/learner an active role in finding stories of hiding, making use of online tools and the possibilities of smart-phone recordings

 

Dates for the immediate next meetings have been agreed as well as the order of meetings. Most meetings will be realized in the second half of the project due to the local agendas that made it more useful for the project to tap into activities of the partners that provide the project with promising synergies.

  • Amsterdam, 8-10 December 2013, realized
  • Hohenems, 15-17 June 2014, realized
  • Berlin, 20-23 September 2014, confirmed
  • Warsaw, February 2016, to be decided
  • Hungary, April 2016, to be decided
  • Amsterdam, June 2016, to be decided

 

To achieve the projects aims the partners have agreed

–          that each partner will be hosting a meeting presents their local museum/educational works concerning silent heroes, and the gaps that they have identified in their context. Both the realized projects/permanent offers as well as the discussion around the development of the respective organization will be addressed with a discussion and written feedback of all partners. To this end a questionnaire has been designed, that will be used by all staff and learners at all meetings. The questionnaires will be collected by the co-ordinator and the outcomes will be made available on the website; the partners strive for comparability in order to draw conclusions for all partners to inform their organizational development plans.

–          to  build, design, develop and maintain a project website that features their local online resources already available, the partners case studies with the respective peer feedback gathered from the staff and learners and the findings and personal narratives connected with the local reality of the partners and their audience working with silent heroes. This may also require to assign a researcher with analyzing and drawing conclusions from the comparative overview in conjunction with the steering group member’s, which are the representatives of the partner organizations.

The consortium has realized that the material gathered and the research questions (questionnaire) applied are so exciting in terms of outcomes that already after the first two meetings it has become clear that partners want to sustain the outcomes, that especially the website will be developed with a longer term perspective and that it will be extended by other European countries that had a history of hiding during the 2nd world war.

The time planning foresees to have a first draft of the website presented during the next partners meeting in Berlin in September. During the meeting in Warsaw the content to date should be up and online.

In terms of content we have looked at stories of hiding in Amsterdam and those of the silent heroes that helped Jews cross the Austrian/German-Swiss boarder in Hohenems. Examples reach from museum exhibitions (Anne Frank House) to the role of contemporary art in dealing with the past (Castrum Peregrini), the medium of film (Akte Grüninger) and walking tours (Hohenems). In the second part we look ahead to see how Berlin addressed the silent heroes from the German perspective, to Warsaw how a newly established Museum deals with the diversity of viewpoints (with a special focus on the righteous among the nations) and to Hungary with respect to civil society initiatives and walking tours as educational means. Finally in Amsterdam, the Jewish History Museum will conclude the partner meetings with scrutinizing their new initiative ‘Jewish quarter/holocaust memorial’.

All partners are highly motivated and the consortium looks forward to a dynamic and fruitful further learning experience.

 

 

Questions for structuring each meeting, for looking at case studies and also for peer coaching feedback on cases presented and discussed:

 

1)    How are the roles of historic persons in the respective memory setting represented:

  1. hiders
  2. helpers
    i.    passive/silent
    ii.    active/heroic

2)    How are historic sources being used?

3)    How is the materiality of the place/space preserved?

  1. Conserved
  2. Reconstructed
  3. Deconstructed

4)    Is there a link with the current issues of societies?

  1. Are moral and ethical questions addressed?
  2. Are political questions raised?
  3. Is there space for a philosophical/artistic take on the past?

5)    Is the question of identity and image building addressed, especially how the image building has changed in the historic perception of the last 7 decades?

What is the distinct presentation approach, what is the (possibly unique) museological vision/concept and what part does (adult)education play in it?