A personal telling of history

To mark its 25th anniversary, the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism has published a reference and study guide for working with life stories.

The booklet Geschichte persönlich vermittelt (“A Personal Telling of History”) is available as a supplement to the book series Erinnerungen. Lebensgeschichten von Opfern des Nationalsozialismus (“Lives Remembered. Life Stories of Victims of National Socialism”) and contains information on the various victim groups persecuted by the Nazi regime and a detailed glossary with over 200 definitions, providing well-founded historical background knowledge on the Nazi period. In addition, the National Fund introduces its book series, provides an insight into the genesis and the textual diversity of the published memoirs and, for the first time, presents thoughts and ideas for working with autobiographical texts in the classroom. Furthermore, the booklet offers a brief overview of the wide range of tasks carried out by the National Fund.

The National Fund recommends the booklet to pupils and teachers in particular, and to anybody with an interest in history. We wish you an interesting and informative read!



  • Wolfgang Sobotka: Assuming responsibility. Sending a signal
  • Hannah M. Lessing: Understanding the language of history
  • Renate S. Meissner: A personal telling of history
  • Timeline
  • Definition of “victims” and victim recognition
  • Victim groups
  • Glossary
  • The documentation of life stories
  • Escape and exile
  • The book series “Lives Remembered”
  • Communicating personal testimonies
  • The National Fund at a glance
  • Picture credits
  • Acknowledgements
  • Imprint/Contact

A personal telling of history. Life stories of victims of National Socialism. Useful information - victim groups - glossary - book series - education. Edited by Renate S. Meissner on behalf of the National Fund, Vienna 2020. 82 p. paperback, ISBN 978-3-9504794-0-9