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Updated: Second Citizens' Forum - What was the holiday like 30 years ago?

The last trip to Hungary in 1989, the first big flight across the Atlantic in 1991, camping holidays at the Müritz in 1990 as always or even the first cancelled holiday – the holiday experiences in the years 1989 to 1991 were diverse. Just as varied are the photos, slides, photo albums or videos from these holidays during the Wende. They reflect in very different ways the experiences of upheaval and changed lifestyles. Because the summer holidays in those years were also part of this upheaval. How did you experience these weeks? What memories do you associate with summer holidays 30 years ago and what stories do the holiday photos tell about them? Researchers at the University of Erfurt are asking these questions and would like to discuss them with citizens in July.

Camping holiday in Prerow
Camping holiday in Prerow, 1989/90. (Photo: Rolf-Peter Frischmann)

Since 2019, the University of Erfurt, together with other researchers in Jena and Weimar, has been investigating the question of how experiences of the period of change and transition from 1989 onwards were processed and what role they play in personal and family memories today. Once a year, the Erfurt researchers have created a citizens' forum for this purpose, because talking together with contemporary witnesses is important to them. In 2019, the first conversation of this kind took place with over 60 participants. In 2020, like so much else, the event had to be cancelled due to Corona.

"After a year's break, however, we now want to seek direct contact with people again, because we don't want to do research about them, but with them," says Prof. Dr. Christiane Kuller, spokesperson for the Erfurt research projects. "The focus this time is on holiday photos and the stories that go with them, because they, too, are important carriers of memories of a time full of upheavals, in which the holiday was perhaps an escape into a (still) ideal world or also the fulfilment of a great longing."

That is why the Erfurt researchers are asking: "Do you have a holiday photo from the years 1989 to 1991 with which you associate special memories of those years, good or bad, and about which you would like to report in a joint discussion? We look forward to your feedback!"

If you would like to take part in the Second Citizens' Forum, either as a listener or to present a holiday photo with a story yourself, you are cordially invited to do so by the researchers at the University of Erfurt. The event will take place on Saturday, 17 July 2021, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Andreasstraße Memorial and Educational Centre in Erfurt (Andreasstraße 37a, 99084 Erfurt). Due to limited room capacity because of remaining Corona restrictions, registration is requested at: dut.info@uni-erfurt.de. Please bring a mouth-nose protection (mask) to the event. Further proof of testing is not necessary.