On 13 April, the Home Army Museum in Krakow, Poland, was the scene of the first youth event of the EASTory through their Eyes project. The Home Army Museum preserves the memory of the Polish Underground State and resistance movement during WWII. It welcomed high school students from Krakow and representatives of the LRE Foundation and the Bastogne War Museum.
EASTory through their Eyes, funded by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Commission, aims to educate about the various perspectives and experiences of WWII and its consequences in the East and West of Europe. Through the personal stories of people who lived through this period, it highlights the differences and commonalities between young people in different parts of Europe and the complexity of such history. The project is composed of a travelling and online exhibition, and four youth events in the partner cities.
The day started with a workshop titled “Fighting for freedom on many fronts between the West and the East – ways of resisting and finding oneself in the war reality”. The workshop shed light on the Polish Underground State, life under occupation and the contribution of Polish units to the liberation of Western Europe. The following visit to the permanent exhibition allowed students to deepen their knowledge of life during the occupation and reflect on the stories of resistance fighters, thanks to a vast collection of objects and pictures.
Later, a workshop led by the LRE Foundation was the occasion to discuss the multi-perspective approach to history and some of the stories featured in the EASTory through their Eyes travelling and digital exhibition. Students reflected on the multi-faceted experiences of WWII in the East and in the West and the life-changing decisions that young people had to make. Confronting the Polish experience with examples from the Bastogne War Museum allowed students to compare different national approaches to remembrance.
The EASTory through their Eyes exhibition is currently displayed at the Home Army Museum in Krakow. Other youth events and exhibition showcases will take place in Pilsen, Bastogne, and Berlin in the upcoming weeks.