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  • AutorenbildJoachim Wiesner

Friedau: once home

Aktualisiert: 22. März 2020

I grew up with countless highly emotional tales about an area in what is today Slovenia. They were sad stories about having lost home to "evil forces" and were frequently accompanied by sparkling eyes or bitter tears. Some old photographs were passed around and we children looked at them with great fascination and also a vague feeling of dread.

I have always envisioned this lost "home land" to be a great place, full of life with huge and extensive vineyards in which many people of different nationalities and languages lived together. I never got to see it until much later. As a historian, however, I knew about the complex course of events which had led to loss, escape, refuge, displacement and death. It’s part of the family heritage until today.

In late fall of 2013 I spent some time there and tried to understand my perspective of things through my camera. I found a city with the name of Ormož (German: Friedau), a small town in the northeastern part of Slovenia, the region is also referred to as Štajerska (Untersteiermark), close to the city of Ptuj (Pettau). I also detected traces of my family and the times long lost.

The photos in my portfolio are but a small selection of this very subjective trip into my family’s past.

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