Nerissa Aksamit recently received a Central European History Society Travel Grant to support her doctoral research for “Training Friends and Overseas Relief: The Friends Ambulance Unit and the Friends Relief Service in British Occupied Germany, 1939-1948” in Germany this summer.
This competitive grant will support Ms. Aksamit's doctoral research at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Museum, the Sandbostel Memorial Museum, holdings at the Deutsche Rote Kruez and Archives and Museum Foundation, Vereinte Evangelische Mission in Berlin as well as archives in Cologne, Soltau, Solingen, Münster, and Düsseldorf.
Nerissa's dissertation project is an investigation of the role played by two British voluntary organizations, the Friends Ambulance Unit and the Friends Relief Service, in relief efforts during and after the Second World War. She is focused on the ways in which the two organizations trained and prepared for the perceived refugee crisis that would follow the end of the war. Research has taken Aksamit to the Imperial War Museum and the Friends Library in London, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Hamburg Staatsarchiv in Germany.
Last summer, Nerissa attended the Goethe-Institut in Hamburg to study the German language in order to better utilize German sources in her research. This experience was funded through a scholarship from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). During Summer of 2016, Nerissa speant the summer researching at the Global Humanitarian Research Academy at the University of Exeter and International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.