Collective experiences, intergenerational memory and identity constructions in Luxembourg: Witnesses of World War II, peasants, industrial workers, immigrants (LUX-ID)
LUX-ID was dedicated to familial memory processes, that is, to the question of how individual experiences and memories become part of the social memory through family tradition. This question was pursued by concentrating on four “fields of memory” that were seen as being important elements of notions of Luxembourgish identity:
– the Second World War and the occupation by Nazi Germany
– the social and economic changes agriculture and the rural world have undergone in the 20th century
– the socio-economic developments in the realm of the steel industry
– the experiences related to immigration to Luxembourg
The project was linked to the work of the Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research Essen on memories of war in Germany and tried to apply and expand its conceptual and methodological approach on family memory to fields of recollection that do not constitute prominent aspects of public memory culture.
An important research question was whether the Luxembourg case confirms the theory of a general need for consensual familial narratives (see Lenz & Welzer 2007) or whether this need is related to particular objects of memory and milieu-specific memory cultures. In general, it was found that Luxembourgish families do not show a pronounced need for consensual narratives. The comparative analysis revealed, among other things, that intra-familial memory competition which becomes apparent in the communicative memory practices is highly influenced by other transmission processes, namely the passing on, appropriation or refusal of material (e.g. land) as well as immaterial inheritance (social relations, status etc.).