Experiencing history up close and personal - that’s what you can do on 23 September at a reading evening organised by the University of Würzburg in Castell. Some letters of the local Arnoldt carpenter family will be read aloud.
What did it mean for a 21-year-old craftsman to be called up for military service in the First World War? How did his mother, father and siblings experience this time in their home village? And: What did they write to their son and brother far away? Anyone who wants to get to the bottom of these questions is invited to a reading evening organised by the University of Würzburg (JMU) and the Castell Local History Society on 23 September 2023 at 6 pm in Castell Town Hall. The event is part of a cooperation project between the Local History Society and the reading group "Historical Self-productions" of Professor Michaela Fenske’s Chair of European Ethnology.
"Testimonies of older generations rest in many attics and cellars: Letters, diaries, exercise books and photo albums," Michaela Fenske knows. "For descendants living today, however, these documents are usually no longer legible. We want to make this historical heritage accessible again." The reading evening will be about the power of writing and how letters between the front and the home village helped people survive the war.
In this way, the researchers want to provide an authentic insight into everyday life during the First World War in Lower Franconia. "Especially during the current world political situation, the letters from and to Castell, which are more than one hundred years old, can contribute to a better understanding of what unites and holds people together in extreme situations," say the members of the group.