Personal relations

How much did people know about nuclear radiation in 1986? And how much do we know today? Nowadays it is very easy to find information about various topics, including the Chernobyl accident. But the best way to find out what people felt back then is to talk to eyewitnesses.

The task: While preparing for the interviews we split into three regionally based groups (south, east and north-central European countries) to design a common questionnaire.

Then, every participant conducted at least one interview with eyewitnesses, using that questionnaire. Interviews were to be recorded and, where permitted, pictures of the interview situation are included.

The results: The eyewitnesses are either people from our familiar personal surroundings or people who are old enough to remember the Chernobyl catastrophe. They reflect an impressive range of occupation and age. Among the eyewitnesses are liquidators, engineers, students, teachers, professors, parents and many others who answered questions about their personal experience of the Chernobyl accident. Find out who they are, when they heard about the accident, what their biggest fears were and how the accident changed their lives.

We also conducted surveys all around Europe of people who remember the accident in Chernobyl and people who had not yet been born when it happened. Read and hear what they have to say about the accident, and see what geographical or age differences exist.

Authors of this introductory text are Ivan Kendzor (Ukraine), Dita Betere (Latvia), Vanya Tsvetkova (Bulgaria), and  Marius Drasovean (Romania)