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Meet Valentin Binder, our Austrian Service Abroad volunteer!

22.09.2022.

Meet Valentin Binder, our Austrian Service Abroad volunteer!

Austria’s compulsory national service offers recruits the alternative to volunteer for memorial service, social service, or peace service abroad. Valentin has come to the Latvian Occupation Museum as part of his memorial service and will spend ten months here. During this time, he will learn about the details of the work of the Latvian Occupation Museum and the history of Latvia during the occupation periods.

 

Valentin has been fascinated by history since boyhood, but after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp, his interest in what happened in Europe in the 20th century only grew. The Auschwitz visit also sparked his desire to engage in historical research and preservation. This interest in history also led to the logical choice of applying for the Austrian Service Abroad (Auslandsdienst Österreichs). When asked why he chose Latvia, the fact that Valentin and his family had previously visited several countries in Northern Europe that were once part of the Soviet Union played an important role. Understandably, Latvia’s location on the sea was also an important reason for his choice.

 

What surprised Valentin most about Latvia was how multilingual the people are. In the museum alone he has several colleagues who speak almost accent-free German. Valentin hopes that he will be able to make friends with people here and come back to visit in 5 years' time.

 

Currently Valentin is working in the Museum‘s Education Department, where he is training to give tours in German at the Latvian Occupation Museum and the KGB Building. But beyond that, he will get an opportunity to work in other departments of the Museum, learning about Latvian culture and history, and seeing how a museum works in all its complexity. It's been less than a month, but we can already say confidently that Valentin has become a part of our team.

 

 

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