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John Simkin

New Ways of Learning: Volunteers Needed

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I suspect your focus is on what happened in the UK and Western Europe, but I can still remember things in the US that happened during the war. Moreover, it (the war) is my professional field of interest as an historian. If I can be of any assistance with answering inquiries I would be very happy to help. I have interviewed a great many people over the years who participated and lived to tell about it. For example, it is rare to have the chance to talk with a British officer who won his Victoria Cross posthumously!!! I did that when I lived in London many years ago. I knew Curt LeMay personnally and for some years, as well as Canadian soldiers who landed at Dieppe, and got off of the beach that day, and later fought in Normandy. Anyway, if you think I can be of any assistance I am here! Professor James A. Mowbray, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama:

james.mowbray@maxwell.af.mil

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I think that The Second World War project, as its outlined here on The Educational Forum is a good initiative.

My old uncle still lives and has vivid memory of his teenage period, which was during the War in Mähren (a part of Czech protectorate). He speaks a good German and I believe that he would be willing to contribute to whatever place at this forum.

Nevertheless what will be an outcome of the project? A library of memories? Placed at your Spartacus site?

I find it more and more difficult to engage my students in taking any educational interest in such kinds of libraries. They often lack the patience to read through it and furthermore they are not enough skilled to read this kind of stories in foreign language.

On the other hand they like to produce this kind interviews and subsequent story telling based on them themselves. Even if they do not have a great skill at doing that they are most often very proud about the results.

Will there be any possibility for the student’s active participation? How will that be organized?

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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My contribution was slightly off the subject …. When I reread the postings I of course discovered that there would be no library with old peoples memories. Instead the plans are for creating possibilities for students to ask questions and get answers ...... . Sorry.

As David wrote:

Thinking pragmatically, the groups of students most likely to take part are those who are studying the subject as a personal/individual study, and groups of gifted and talented students.

This applies even more for my students who on top of that do not have English as the native language.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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Nevertheless what will be an outcome of the project? A library of memories? Placed at your Spartacus site?

I find it more and more difficult to engage my students in taking any educational interest in such kinds of libraries. They often luck the patience to read through it and furthermore they are not enough skilled to read this kind of stories in foreign language.

The idea is that the resource will be created on the forum. It is hoped that the individual accounts and student questions will be organized into threads. What happens next depends on the individual teacher? However, it is possible for teachers to create activities using this material that could also be posted on the forum.

The project has several educational purposes. One is to get the students involved in creating historical resources. For example, I would like to see individual students paired up with people who experienced these events. (In the same way that I have paired up with my mother). The student could then write up their biography and work as an intermediary. This will help overcome the problems that the witnesses may face with the technology (my mother has never used a computer in her life, but that should not matter as long as I am willing to transcribe her answers and place them on the site).

Several people have asked when the time-span of the project. I think we can start as soon as we can build up a reasonable number of people willing to answer the questions (see below).

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=624

There are in fact several people who have agreed to join the project who have not yet posted their biography. Hopefully we can get started in a couple of weeks.

I don’t foresee an end to the project. Hopefully we will continue to attract volunteers to answer questions and to get involved in debates on the various issues. We shall be able to keep going until all those witnesses are dead (at least another 30 years).

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I have discovered this forum after surfing on the internt in order to collect information about my research for my university.

I actually didnt find the thing that i search for BUT...

i will be more than glad to help you with the WWII issue.

My country,greece,had played a main role during the WWII.The resistance was outstanding,in fact so good that not even Mussollini couldnt defeat it and Hitler had to send troops down here.This thing delayed the cccp invasion.This had the result of Hitler having to invade cccp at winter,which was the main disadvantage he had.

The village i live in has been burned by the Nazis because of its brave resistance,together with many other villages all around the world.

I can also collect information for you about the Partisans,the guerilla army tha actually hammered the Fascists,the most "bleeding" open wound of Balkans.

So...if you really like some information about how WWII went here in greece i will be more than glad to help you and to give you information,if you do so...just email me please.

Friendly

Me.

ps:forgive me for the bad condition of my english.

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B) Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to take part in your new topic because we had lost 3 million people during WW2 and every family defeated by this war. My students are working with veterans now, writing their memories, stories, getting photos and documents from this period of time. A lot of them we placed in our school museum. I'll be happy to translate some of them and re-send to your forum.

As Russians we were "sentensed by nazi" to death because belong to slavonic race but nobody and never could do so in our current history. Unfortunately, still now we are isolated in Europe, all our neighbors are members of EU-CE but we continue to live at iron curtain.

Anyway, I am working with my teachers and students just to feel that we are part of Europe and would like to cooperate and collaborate with my colleagues abroad.

My best wishes to all veterans of WW2 who won this struggle for freedom and independence, a lot of happiness and good health for all of them, we remember you and admire you because you are an excellent example for the next generations.

With peace and love,

Vladimir

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I am very pleased to take part in your new topic because we had lost 3 million people during WW2 and every family defeated by this war. My students are working with veterans now, writing their memories, stories, getting photos and documents from this period of time. A lot of them we placed in our school museum. I'll be happy to translate some of them and re-send to your forum.

As Russians we were "sentensed by nazi" to death because belong to slavonic race but nobody and never could do so in our current history. Unfortunately, still now we are isolated in Europe, all our neighbors are members of EU-CE but we continue to live at iron curtain.

Anyway, I am working with my teachers and students just to feel that we are part of Europe and would like to cooperate and collaborate with my colleagues abroad.

My best wishes to all veterans of WW2 who won this struggle for freedom and independence, a lot of happiness and good health for all of them, we remember you and admire you because you are an excellent example for the next generations.

This is tremendous news Vladimir. Your material will make it possible for students all over the world to study these accounts.

I would be very interested to hear your views on European Enlargement.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=672

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This is such a good idea and very necessary for the understanding of the trauma of WWII. Many of the children during the war are now retired - and they are not getting any younger. I would not only like to try to participate (with some limitations, see in the end of this text), but I would encourage all the participants to tape (if possible) the "interviews" and encourage more interviews with this generation. Now a little bit of what I - or rather my mother can do;

My mother was born in Finland 1933. My grandparents, she and her little sister lived in Helsinki. When the war broke out (the Winter War) she and her family was evacuated to the Finnish countryside. After the armistice of March 1940 they moved back home.

In June 1941 the war broke out again. In February 1942, when the bombing of Helsinki was to intense, she and about 70 000 other children were evacuated to Sweden (by train over Torneå-Haparanda). She and her younger sister (5 years old in 1942) travelled together with a little nametag around their necks. In Sweden they were separated. My mother first stayed two months at an orphanage before she ended up in a Swedish family in Sundsvall. At the time she did not speak any Swedish at all...

It took 18 months before she and her sister got to come home. Her sister had then forgotten most of her native language. After the bombings of Helsinki once more increased many children were sent again to Sweden. In February 1944 she was back in her Swedish "warfamily". This time it would take 16 months before she saw her parents again (June 11th 1945).

Today she lives in Southern Sweden. She is a member of the Swedish National Association of Finnish Warchildren (Riksförbundet Finska Krigsbarn). She and several other members can tell anybody about their experiences, but I don't know if they can participate "on-line" (several of them does not speak English very well), but questions can be asked and I would see to it that answers were published as fast as possible... B)

Anders MacGregor-Thunell

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