Peršman Association consistently partakes in various projects, all of which are thematically connected to the museum and the Peršman memorial as a whole. We decided to highlight some of the projects.
Educational work at Peršman (from 2001 forward)
The cooperation agreement between the Peršman Association and the Association of Carinthian partisans requires the latter to offer and take responsibility over certain educational programmes. This includes arranging and providing training for the partaking educators, as well as organising projects aimed at schools, which deal with subjects such as National Socialism. Throughout the years the association has managed to create a network of volunteers from all over Austria, who are always ready to teach the younger generations about the matter. Educational work is there for one of the corner stones of associations’ activities.
Arts and Culture (2003)
In 2003, a theatre play titled “Eleven souls for a single ox” and directed by Tina Leisch - president of the Peršman Association from 2001 to 2004 – was created to inform the public about the atrocity that happened at Peršman. The play was a resounding success, managing not only to detaboo the topic in Carinthia but by also introducing it crowds elsewhere. The premiere performance took place at a “Festival of regions” in Upper Austria and was afterwards played at various stages throughout the country. “Precisely theatre can be a form of historical memory. It is good to imagine certain historical horrors on the stage, so that they cannot reoccur in reality.” (Tina Leisch)
Science and research (2003/2004)
At the time of planning the redesign of the museum, Peršman Association played a leading role in the accompanying research project. Under the leadership of Univ. Prof. Dr. Karl Stuhlpfarrer, we began to research the history of the crime that took place at Peršman’s and the history of the neighbouring farms. The project was financed by the National Fund and the Future Fund of Republic of Austria. The discovery of important court documents – court records detailing the process against the members of SS and police regiment 13 – brought us new and factual realisations: on one hand, the suspects we’re for the first time recognised to be responsible for the crime, and on the other, the documents offered us new insight into the law related history of the case. A second research team, under the leadership of Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Gstettner, produced conceptual suggestions for the museum, which allowed us to design the museum as we know it today.
Educational projects (2007/2008)
Both 2007 and 2008 were focused around international educational projects for the youth. “Travelling through time” was the title of the project through which, in cooperation with concentration camp Moringen in Niedersachsen|Spodnja Saška (Germany), we organised various events for pupils from both Austria and Germany. The project aimed to inform the participants about the history of Nazism with a unique connection between the two locations: in 1940, certain teens from Bad Eisenkappel|Železna Kapla were deported to a youth concentration camp in Moringen as they or their families were suspected of supporting the partisans. The project was awarded a »best-practice project« award by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.
Renovation of the museum (2011/2012)
Instalment of a new permanent exhibition in the Peršman museum has been one of association’s wishes since 2001. In 2013, after thirty years of museum’s existence our wish finally came true when a team of curators (Dr. Lisa Rettl, Dr. Werner Koroschitz, Mag. Uli Vonbank-Schedler) helped us in completely redesigning and expanding it. The new museum now spans approximately 100 m² and covers new themes related to the location, its residents and its history.
Youth full-day workshops for schools (2017)
Recently, our experts have developed materials, specifically for full-day workshops for school classes. Thus, pupils (mostly seniors from high schools) can not only learn about the history of Peršman and partisan resistance in southern Carinthia, they can also compare the times of Nazism with present-day extremism and hatred of foreigners in working groups and roleplayed press conferences about topics such as integration, refugees, etc.