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How to use this resource?

In this digital collection, you will find: 

  • An introduction to this resource (of which this page is a part of)

  • The biographies of the four women who were interviewed

  • The full unedited audio recording of the interviews with each of the four women with Dr. Freund in their original language

  • The edited, shortened and reorganized transcripts of these interviews

  • Lesson plans to use this resource in your class. (For now, we provided a lessons series on Historical Thinking, but there will be more lesson plans in the future)

  • Short introductions of all the team behind this project

  • And a list of resources that you can refer to if you would like to learn more about oral history, Canadian history, women’s history or find other educational material.


To the exception of the unedited audio interviews, all the material on this website is available in English, French and German. You can change the language of the website by selecting the language of your choice on the menu on the top right of the header.

How to use the transcripts of the interviews?


To make them more accessible to be used in the classroom, we selected excerpts of the transcripts that we found most valuable and organized them into three main categories: 

  1. Reasons for Leaving and First Steps in Canada

  2. Being a German Woman in Canada After World War II

  3. Gender Dynamics in Marriage and Family


Each category is itself divided into subcategories. Under “Reasons for Leaving and First Steps in Canada” we have: 

1.1 Life in Europe and Decision to Migrate

1.2 The Ship and Train Journey

1.3. The First Steps in Canada


Under “Being a German Woman in Canada After World War II,” you will find:

2.1 What Was It Like To Be German in Canada?

2.2 What Was It Like To Be a Woman in Canada?


Under “Gender Dynamics in Marriage and Family”:

3.1 Family Dynamics: Parents, Sibling, and Extended Family

3.2 Marriage Dynamics and Family Structure: Husband, Children, In-Laws


These categories are not comprehensive and not necessarily exclusive. Some passages that we chose to put in 2.1 may sometimes also make sense in 2.2 or 3.1. If you wish to use this resource for educational purposes, feel free to connect a passage to multiple categories.

Each excerpt is time-stamped, so you can find it in the audio-file of the interview. We strongly encourage to listen to the audio as you read the transcript as there is a lot that is being communicated by the intonations, the hesitations, the pauses and the uhms, which are not always included in the transcript. 


At the bottom right of each excerpt you will find a code. Each excerpt has their own individual code, so it can be studied, printed and referenced individually. We use these codes to reference specific passages in our lesson plans, and we encourage you to do so as well if you choose to create your own activities from this resource. 


If you use passages from the interviews, make sure to reference them properly; we provided a full citation at the bottom of each excerpt. Make sure to also reference our website when you use any material from it. You can use this format (Chicago, 17th edition) to do so:

Bach, Sofia and Claudia Dueck, “[Enter the Title of the Page].” What They Can Teach Us: Stories from German-Canadian Women, 1950-1993. German-Canadian Studies, University of Winnipeg. May 2023. Accessed on [Enter Date]. [Enter the full URL of the page you want to cite]. 

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