Oral History



The past week Peter and I have been busy with the telling  of our lives’ story. We had a very lovely visitor recording everything for the Oral History section of the library at Canberra. It takes a few weeks before these recordings are accessible. I understand they are going to be preserved for future generations. This whole project is of course extremely exciting for us.

Frances, who’s interviewing us, tells us,  we as migrants from Germany, having been through WW II  and post war years as children in Germany have experiences to recall which people would be interested to hear about. Also of interest are our experiences in Australia as migrants. In this regard it is of special interest to find out how our lives were shaped by having had a daughter who had been severely disabled by polio.

Neither Peter or I are experienced speakers. Having our voices recorded is something completely new to us. However Frances is very good at encouraging us. She gently guides us into the relevant sections of our lives by asking some questions. Peter and I are always being interviewed separately. Usually we have one hour each in the morning, then a lunch-break, and maybe another hour each in the afternoon.

I found out having to talk for one hour at a time about my life can be rather tiring and sometimes a bit stressful too. But I love doing it especially with such a good interviewer as Frances. By the middle of next week she’s going to be back for the conclusion of the interviews.












10 thoughts on “Oral History

  1. Not being an oral historian and never having heard of this, wow! What a great opportunity. Your record of life recorded for the world. OK it may miss out many of your most important details yet still, you will live on and be of positive influence, effect and contribution etc. etc. It’s brilliant and very interesting. I look forward to more 🙂

  2. Thank you very much for this comment, JJ. OK , yes it may miss out on many of my most important details. You’re quite right there. But I think this doesn’t matter at all. It seems to me to be impossible to know all the details about any person. So who’s to decide which details are the most important? You can always look at it from different perspectives. The main thing seems to be that we communicate something and that this ‘something’ is told as honestly as possible.
    Isn’t it true that the way others see us can differ greatly from the way we see ourselves? This is why I love well written novels. In a novel the characters aren’t black and white, but come in various different shades and can be looked at from the author’s point of view or from the point of view of the characters in the book.

  3. Hi Uta. After being inactive in blogland for a few weeks, I’m trying to catch up. I think it’s wonderful that you’re participating in this project. I would love to hear your story. I hope you will let us know when we can access your interviews. Or have you already done so and I missed it?

    1. Thanks for commenting, Pat. I think in about one month we are going to hear about it how the project is going. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything! Thanks for your interest.

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