Hana as START Fellow in Dresden

Hana Sebestova

Born in Slovakia, Hana came to Greece as a European volunteer in 2008 and has lived there ever since. She has always been active in the fields of art and music as well as international youth work.

Since 2009, she has participated in several socio-cultural projects in the framework of non-formal education. She has worked in this field as a mentor, leader and project coordinator. Since 2013, she has been working in rural areas with hardly any cultural opportunities. She insists on believing in change towards an inclusive society and acting accordingly.

Since 2 October 2018, Hana has been working in Dresden at Kultur Aktiv as part of the START scholarship of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. During her stay, she is further developing a projekt idea based on Rifka’s life story.

Rifka’s life story (Kryoneri 1943, 2017)

Travelling through time. In 1943, Rifka, a six-year-old girl from Athens, arrived as a Jewish refugee with her family in the village of Kryoneri (Matsani) in Corinthia. They had to hide from the Nazis. The Greek partisans helped them. Between October 1943 and October 1944, they hid with local families and in a cave near the village. The villagers helped them escape every time the German army was near. After the Nazi occupation ended, the girl settled in Israel with her Greek-Jewish family.

74 years later, on 6 September 2017, Rifka returned from Israel and Athens with her 70 relatives (children, grandchildren, etc.) to show them this place. Rifka’s children had expressed a desire to learn more about their family’s history. They searched for the Greek village near Corinth and started their journey in June 2017. The family had decided it was time to show their gratitude to the residents of the village. Together with the local authorities, they supported the reconstruction of the amphitheatre in the village, a cultural place of the village society, as a sign of their gratitude to the residents.

A group of young people created the access to the cave.
Since Rifka wanted so much to show the cave to her family, it was necessary to clean the footpath and lead it to the Karamanos cave. Young people from Germany (Lucky Luke Verein/Bonn-Buschdorf), Poland (young students from Nowy Targ) and Greece (young people from the Filoxenia/Kryoneri organisation), who met during their international projects in Kryoneri, showed their willingness and helped to reopen the footpath through the forest in cooperation with the community.
These moments will always remain in the minds and hearts of the youth, the Jewish family and the residents of Kryoneri.
This story is a great example of humanity and positive motivation for human action in 2018 and for the future.

Kultur Aktiv is one of 30 German cultural institutions that offer Greek scholarship holders the opportunity to qualify in international cultural management in the programme “START – Create Cultural Change”. START is a programme of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, run in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and the Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V., supported by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the Bodossaki Foundation. For more information, please visit: www.startgreece.net