A lot of travelling in the New Year. Also on the train, researches are conducted and reports are written.
In February, we asked people, "What does family history mean to you?" - To watch the clip, please click here.
February was a busy month: in Cologne we spent ten hours in the studio with Günther Jauch for a recording of the Millionaire show.
Unfortunately, the appearance on TV took only a few seconds.
A research trip in March took me to Poznan, where I conducted research in the church- (photo) and in the state archives.
The work in Poznan helped us to get a clearer picture in a long-term project – just like the dusting of the high altar in the cathedral next door.
From Poznan we continued to the old episcopal city of Gniezno (Gniezno).
The state archive in Gniezno is more modest than the cathedral.
In Gniezno, we were dealing with old land registers from the Witkowo area on behalf of a family now living in Australia.
In April we went to Poland again: for the third time into the state archives of Zielona Góra, the former Grünberg.
In Berlin, we went in search of memorials lesser known than the Holocaust Memorial.
In this building in Berlin-Steglitz, the economic exploitation in the concentration camps was coordinated.
In May we visited our longtime client and friend Pierre André Podbielski in Milan.
There was also time and opportunity for a jaunt to ...
... the most famous fresco in the world, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
In Milan, we have also visited places of commemoration, such as the memorial Binario 21 in the central station.
In May we also visited Haus Boden e.V., which committed itself to the preservation of an original
artist household in Dresden-Cotta from the 1920s to the 50s. We talked to Ulrich Müller about the project.
This resulted in a film portrait (8 min) about the house and the association, which can be found here (in German only).
June was the month of books. We did a lot of research in libraries, especially in the
Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden with its reading room by HG Merz which opened in 2013.
In July we went on vacation for a few days and met our longtime client Dan Haneckow
from Portland/Oregon with his family for the first time in Hagen near Osnabrück.
An excursion in August took us to Hohenschönhausen. This is the Villa Heike, built in 1903 as a machine factory
and used as a secret archive for documents from National Socialism by the National Security of the GDR.
The whole area was subject to the strictest secrecy in the GDR, including the infamous
remand prison, which today can be visited with tours guided by former victims of state violence.
In August, a research led to Kamenz in Saxony, the hometown of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing,
and into the municipal archive there, which is housed in the historicizing city hall.
We often conduct research in the Federal Archives in Berlin-Lichterfelde, which houses the documents
from the Nazi period – in the former barracks used by the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.
Luckily, we have already discovered unexpected beautiful things in the Federal Archives: caution, rare mining bees!
Our main focus in August was on the interviews with Gunther Ostwald about his escape from Heiligenbeil in East Prussia during World War II.
From more than 3 hours footage, we have produced 8 clips, including spectacular coulour slides from 1939-1944.
We will start uploading the clips in February. Don't miss them and subscribe to our Youtube channel now.
In September, the Podbielski family from Milan came to visit us in Berlin and with the family tree
on the table, we talked about their tragic stories of emigration and extermination by the Nazis.
Also in September, we made an excursion to Neuruppin, home town of Theodor Fontane, whose 200 anniversary will be celebrated in 2019.
In Neuruppin, we had the chance to climb on the roof of the medieval
Holy Trinity minster with an architect friend, who explained the complex timber construction.
In October, we conducted a search in the military archives in Freiburg im Breisgau. In the center of the city,
an impressive memorial commemorates the synagogue burnt down by the Nazis: a dark expanse of water in its former ground plans.
After work there was still time for a hike in the Black Forest, which also led past several historic sawmills near Hinterzarten.
When working and living in the capital, it is beneficial and important to seek regular balance and relaxation in nature...
...as on the weekly run in the Grunewald, almost never without an encounter with wild boars (which are not really wild here).
Shortly before Christmas, we produced audition videos for an international genealogy conference.
The last archive trip of the year went into the State Archives and the National Library in Leipzig.
Another Christmas tree: in the State Library Unter den Linden in Berlin.