I have a few concerns about the interview. Of course, I‘m afraid I can‘t handle the recording equipment, that I will forget to push the record button or that something will be wrong with the sound levels. On the other hand, I worry that I won‘t ask the right questions, that those questions stir up very unpleasant memories of my interviewee and that he will feel uncomfortable or even depressed after the interview.
I really do hope to get an personal insight of what it was like to be a child during the Second World War in Austria. I‘m looking forward to talking to my interview partner about this time and I‘m also – somehow – looking forward to being „the interviewer“ with the dictaphone. I‘m used to finding the answers to my questions in books; it‘s a relief to talk to people about their experiences for a change!
I want to conduct my interview with my father. He was born in 1938, the year of the „Anschluss“ of Austria into the „German Reich“, in a small village in Styria. He therefore experienced the Nazi regime and the Second World War as a small child, the liberation of Austria by the allied powers and the signing of the Austrian state treaty in the year 1955 when he was a teenager. Although I would focus on my father‘s childhood I would conduct a life history interview with him and try to find out in what ways his experiences as a child influenced him in his later life. I also want to know if he thinks that his memories and beliefs have changed over the years.
Possible difficulties may result from the fact that English is neither his mother tongue nor mine. I have been warned that I may be emotionally too engaged to interview my father and now that I have worked out the questions that I want to ask him I start to understand what this may mean. Nevertheless, from a personal and a professional point of view I‘m looking forward to this interview.