Call for Contribution – Launch
The individual war experiences in the study of the conscripts are essential in project Warlux and are included in the research. Ego documents (testimonies, family stories, diaries, letters, postcards, photographs…) are retrieved to complement the data set and existing documents in state and municipal archives. The Warlux project issued a call for crowdsourcing in February 2021, encouraging people to come forward to share their stories and their ego-documents or those of their family members.
The call was launched via a (digital) press conference, followed by newspaper articles and radio announcement and a social media campaign. The campaign will continue nationwide in the coming months with a flyer and poster campaign.
The warlux team has already received 200 phone calls and 170 contributions via email and post. Documents are either sent (as copies) to the team or are collected from donors’ homes or scanned in locally. The current pandemic makes personal contact with older people difficult (the target group is the generation born between 1920 and 1927). It makes the campaign more dependent on written contributions from private donors than on conducting interviews.
The former experience shows a high interest in the topic of WWII and the stories of the conscripts. Many people want to contribute to sharing their stories even if they no longer have written documents. The desire to tell or document the stories is very strong – the contributions exceeded all expectations.
The call for contributions fulfilled two crucial phases in the Warlux project: the involvement of the public, the collection of first-person documents to study the biographies and the scientific dissemination. The involvement of the public, the collecting of records is to be continued.
Text: Michel R. Pauly, Sarah Maya Vercruysse and Nina Janz