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Post-war migrants remember. What do they tell us? | Civic Europe
Social inclusion

Post-war migrants remember. What do they tell us?

Tolerance can only be learned from the true stories of living witnesses, not from school books


Who is behind this?

Tomas Trantina

Pamet naroda Jihocesky kraj - POST BELLUM, o.p.s.

Czech Republic

Who is joining forces?

Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes

Czech Republic

Czech Radio

Czech Republic


Idea pitch

To draw attention to different views on migration in the context of current policy in Europe. Based on real stories of inhabitants of three nationalities Czechs, Germans, Romanian Slovaks - in one border region of the Czech Republic that was affected by the events of World War II, expulsion of German population (caused by Czech nationalism), era of communism and the new European policy – to make people think critically about history and current mostly negative attitudes towards migration.

Where will your project idea take place?

Border microregion Lipensko - area near the Lipno reservoir, southern Bohemia, Czech Republic.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

After the end of the WWII, the original German population was expelled from Lipno, their houses fell to the Czechoslovak Authorities that called for Czechoslovak emigrants to return home to build a new republic. Among them were Slovaks, settled for a hundred years in the Romanian mountains. Many families of Romanian Slovaks have joined the abandoned Lipno region, especially the villages of Malsin and Frymburk.
Three ethnic groups met here, Czechs, departing Germans and re-emigrated poor and often illiterate Romanian Slovaks.
The painful displacement of the Germans and the subsistence of the Czechs and Slovaks are not openly discussed. We want to achieve a joint meeting of all three ethnic groups and mutual debate on the topic of current opportunities to restore healthy relationships.

Who are you doing it for?

We will document 5 Czech, 5 German and 5 Slovak-Romanian witnesses of the Lipno region using Eye Direct technology. Their statements will be authentic, everyone will have the space to express their opinion on the issue.
Target groups:
Residents of Lipno municipalities - total population 11.300
Current localities of Romanian Slovaks - Frymburk 1.300 inhabitants and Malsin 173 inhabitants
The original German population of Lipno
Members of expatriate associations
Primary schools in the Lipno region - Loucovice, Vyssí Brod, Frymburk, Cerná v Posumavi, Horni Plana, Lipno nad Vltavou - a total of about 800 pupils
Professional and lay public through the portal
Listeners of Czech Radio

How do you plan to get there?

• cooperation with expatriate associations and societies
• document of the witnesses´ memories – Eye Direct technology
• meetings of witnesses, students, the public and experts - joint debates
• processing and distribution of a film documentary (local municipalities, cities, associations, schools)
• realization of exterior exhibition
• creation of educational materials for pupils and students based on witness stories of the Lipno region
• educational program Stories of Our Neighbors in schools using a document - pupils work on the stories of witnesses and their own reflections on their destinies.
• theatre club of local pupils and subsequent theatre performance related to the stories of witnesses and local modern history

What are the expected results?

The success at the local level will be the open debate of the current inhabitants of Lipno on their own history and attitudes to the current problems of Europe. At the same time, we want to contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between local municipalities and cities with the regional German and Slovak-Romanian associations, creating a new tradition of meetings.
At the regional level, the launch of educational projects (workshops, Stories of Our Neighbours) will be a success, which will bear the main message about post-war migration and Czech nationalism, based on the memories of recorded Czech, German and Slovak-Romanian witnesses.
We expect that the municipalities and towns of Lipno will themselves be interested in continuing to search for witnesses and record their memories.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

To highlight the topic of the nationalities of the exchange of the inhabitants of Lipno in the public debate.
With the help of film recordings of the stories of witnesses of three ethnic groups, to create comprehensible film and exhibition material, which will be used as a basis for educational activities in the current issues of migration and immigration.
With the involvement of local pupils and students, to create a theatre performance in which the history of the region and the topic of migration will be processed.
To commemorate the history and heritage of previous generations, to help local associations to develop good relations with German partners.
To show the fundamental importance of tolerance, mutual assistance and the importance of an open civil society.

Why is this idea important to you?

The Memory of the Nation of the South Bohemian Region was established as a regional branch of the non-profit company Post Bellum, which has been recording the memories of witnesses of the 20th century since 2001. She founded the Memory of the Nation project, which aims to manage the archive of recordings and further work with them for the benefit of civil society and to serve to realize history. We have over 10.000 witness stories in the archive. We use these stories for educational programs in schools and for use by the general public in the form of documentaries, radio programs, panel exhibitions, audiovisual site-specific concepts, textbooks, books, comics, etc.

€ 53000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Stories of witnesses, filming Eye Direct Technology 19.400 EUR
Documentary 3.840 EUR
Children Theatre Club 2.800 EUR
Project Stories of Our Neighbours 3.000 EUR
Educational Project – syllabus 2.720 EUR
Exterior Exhibition 9.520 EUR
Discussions 3.600 EUR
Operating expenses total 8.120 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would welcome the experience of others with their possible attempts to develop an public debate on the thorny issue of migration, which divides society. How they address various groups of the population to take part in such debates and discuss openly.


Pamet naroda Jihocesky kraj

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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