History Through Their Eyes is the first of the EU-funded LRE Youth Programme “Through their Eyes” which started in 2018 and included partners from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
The aim of the project was to contribute to young citizens’ understanding of what happened during the Second World War and the construction of the European Union. A travelling and digital exhibition focused on stories of young people who experienced WWII and its consequences allowed students to identify in the WWII witnesses, while five youth events in the partner cities raised awareness on remembrance and common history and values, also thanks to eyewitnesses and special guests.
History through their Eyes had the LRE Foundation as coordinator and the Allied Museum (Germany), the Municipality of Cassino (Italy), the Municipality of Nijmegen (The Netherlands), the Bastogne War Museum (Belgium) and the Region of Normandy (France) as project partners.
The virtual exhibition consists of twenty-five personal stories of young people who experienced – in different countries and ways – WWII and its consequences.
It gathers all the personal stories displayed in the travelling exhibition, and it is available in English, German, French, Dutch, and Italian.
The youth events
Caen - France
8 June 2018
The first event of the project took place in Caen in the framework of the Forum for Peace. The topic for reflection and discussion with local students was ‘D-Day and the Normandy Landing Beaches – symbols of the universal values of freedom and democracy?’.
Nijmegen - the Netherlands
19 September 2018
At the House of Nijmegen History, the day started with an introduction of themes related to the Second World War in Nijmegen, given by specialised historians. Then, a group of Dutch students discussed with local eyewitnesses and heard about their personal experiences of the war.
Berlin - Germany
8 November 2018
Two workshops, ‘History through their Eyes’ and ‘Map of the European memory’ provided German high school students with the opportunity to learn about different European perspectives on the Second World War. In the afternoon, interviews with eyewitnesses Christa Ronke and Hartmut Topf took place.
Bastogne - Belgium
6 December 2018
The Belgian students who attended the event took part in five diverse workshops which were followed by an interview with WWII eyewitness Andrée Collin, whose mother died during the Nazi counter-offensive in La Roche, and Melchior Wathelet, a Belgian politician and advocate-general at the Court of Justice.
Cassino - Italy
15 February 2019
Italian students presented their projects about the 75th anniversary of the destruction of the Abbey of Monte Cassino. They took part in a debate ‘From Cassino to Rome, WWII as the Mother of Europe?’ and met with local eyewitnesses Giovanni Vizzaccaro and Armando Del Greco.