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News from SCI International Archives informs about recent activities and insights or ideas around archives and the history of SCI.

Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Oct 27, 2015

SCI Sri Lanka Anniversary BookletAs the ICM in Sri Lanka is approaching, it should be reminded that SCI activities in that country had started well over 55 years ago. The nice booklet the branch had issued for its 50th Anniversary in 2010 reminds, at the same time, of the then 90th Anniversary of International SCI activities.

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Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Jul 7, 2015

During my private trip through India, I had the opportunity to meet with several activists and veterans of the Indian SCI branch in different places. In Bangalore, Valli Seshan invited me to her apartment for tea and sweets, and of course for a fruitful and interesting chat. Together with young SCI India activist Janak Gor we went there to reveal the “secrets” of the functioning of SCI’s International Secretariat in the late 1980s and early 1990s when, for the first and last time, it was located outside of Europe.


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Posted by Heint Gabathuler on Apr 15, 2015

SCI Presentation guideline 1946It was the time before Power Point and Prezi. And it was a time when people were used to listen: “Concerning the length of the presentations, we consider the following timelines to be the most appropriate: Not shorter than 45 minutes, not longer than 90 minutes”, writes Ralph Hegnauer, then SCI International Secretary, towards the end of a German-language document titled Der Internationale Zivildienst – Was ist er? Was will er?” [1]



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Posted by Philipp Rodriguez on Apr 1, 2015

If anyone thinks SCI Archives are a pile of 95 years old dust and folders where our dedicated activists sit between rows of shelves - well it's not. It's a place thriving with history and stories. We actually had a visit by SCI France this week.

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Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Mar 18, 2015

On March 13th, 2015, at last, I made it to Bilthoven: The small town near Utrecht in the Netherlands where the idea of reconciliation among nations after war through practical reconstruction work has been born almost one hundred years ago.




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Posted by Philipp Rodriguez on Feb 18, 2015

Wilbert Helsloot (2001)Wilbert Helsloot has been active for SCI in the Balkans between 1993 and 2006.

Deeply impressed by his work camp experience in a refugee camp in Croatia 1993 during the war in Yugoslavia he started a long time commitment for conflict resolution in the Balkans.



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Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Feb 8, 2015

Les Soeurs du Service Civil - Booklet cover

Amongst the propaganda brochures issued by SCI in its early years, my clear favourite is the 32-pages booklet titled “Les Sours du Service Civil” (in English “The Sisters of Voluntary Service”) - in A5 format and a dark blue cover, issued 80 years ago, in 1935, by the one and only SCI Secretariat in Bern, Switzerland, and sold for the incredible price of 60 Swiss Cents.

Needless to say that unlike nowadays, in these times there were neither EU commission nor Swiss government grants available for printing such material – so our forefathers and foresisters did have to ask a price!



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Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Dec 22, 2014

Work and Sing, own by Ernst-Michael Lehmann

 In a box full of duplicates I found in the SCI Archives in Switzerland, there was a tiny little booklet in red and yellow entitled „Work and Sing – an International Songbook“. And on the front page, one can clearly see the name of its former owner: Ernst-Michael Lehmann, a clearly German name.

Two forewords and the imprint reveal that the booklet was first published in 1947 by the „Cooperative Recreation Service, Inc.“ in the United States, and could be ordered in Europe from UNESCO's Youth Section in Paris. The present copy is already part of the third, apparently enhanced edition which has been published somewhat later.

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Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Nov 4, 2014

SCI Catalonia was founded in the course of democratisation in Spain after Franco's death in the early 1980s as "Servei Català de Camps de Traball". It has been the first, and for some time the only, SCI Branch on Spanish territory. They recently gave parts of their records to the National Archives of Catalonia where they are accessible to the public.

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Posted by Philipp Rodriguez on Dec 27, 2013

Die Gruppe der Freiwillige in Raon l'Etape (1946). Hans Bruder hintere Reihe zweiter von Rechts, Mary Hutchinson vorderer Reihe erste von Rechts.Noch im vergangenen Februar zahlten Hans und Mary Bruderer ihren Mitgliederbeitrag ein. Im Vermerk schrieben sie: Das ist voraussichtlich unsere letzte Zahlung. Wir sind 94 und 98 Jahre alt und Mitglieder seit über 65 Jahren!. Kurze Zeit darauf erhielt der SCI die Todesanzeige der beiden treuen Mitglieder. Auf der alten Mitgliedskarteikarte stand, dass sie sich in einem SCI-Dienst kennenlernten und im SCI-Archiv finden sich weitere Hinweise.

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