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Langerfeld School Festival
September 14, 2013 / Wuppertal
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As part of the festival celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wuppertal Comprehensive School Langerfeld, our Living History Group organized a reenactment version of Wuppertal's postwar occupation together with the school's history department.
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The program included a curriculum-oriented alliance with high school students that addressed areas of learning about the historic nutrition and health, housing, academic environment and effects of the black market.

The students were then divided into groups on the basis of these themes. They researched the assigned subjects and assembled presentations and created posters, which became part of a comprehensive display for the school festival.
 

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A large area near the school campus was used to showcase the student knowledge of these various topics, which we supplemented with further information and rare artifacts from the actual period. 
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For instance, the American occupation area contained a real Willys Jeep, and the British section had a health and hygiene center with authentic medical equipment. There was even a black market area which drew considerable interest from students and visitors alike. Unfortunately, due to the sharp decline in cigarette popularity since those times, their trading value as substitute currency could no longer be truly appreciated. 
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The food and nutrition display emphasized the dire postwar scarcity of basic food. The great shortages and meager availability of food ration coupons propelled much imagination in food preparation, as well as great efficiency in adapting resources on the part of ordinary people trying to survive.
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The overall presentation, coupled with appropriately dressed students and our reenacting team, gave a unified harmony to the entire presentation and enabled the 4,500 visitors to have a glimpse of the war's end and postwar era on a personal basis.
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..... Throughout the day there were also plenty of interesting  conversations with those living at the time, who gave notable accounts of their experiences during those years. 

They gave information about the occupiers, daily needs and many particulars which provoked extended discussions on some items and memories.

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The eventful day provided an interesting opportunity which allowed the students to enjoy a fun learning experience despite less-than-ideal weather. We are glad that our Living History Group was able to help the Wuppertal school system teach schoolchildren about Germany's recovery after World War II in such an effective and tangible way, which was enjoyed equally by old and young alike.  
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More pictures of the event here.

(Many thanks to Shelby L. Stanton for English translation )
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