Elizabeth and Werner Hafner-Lanz interviewed by Nicolas Hafner

This oral history collection consists of separate interviews with Elizabeth and Werner Hafner-Lanz, a couple who have been together since 1975 (married 1990). Parents of two sons (Nicolas, 1991, and Florian, 1994). Elizabeth, born in 1958, daughter of Jürg and Madeleine Lanz-Urben, oldest sibling of six, worked as a primary school teacher, curative education teacher, counsellor, and supervisor for over 40 years, taking on various roles and tasks at all levels within schools, until she retired in 2020. Werner, born in 1953, son of Wilhelm and Margrit Hafner (born Camenisch), older sibling of two, was a trained electrical engineer, later SAP basis specialist. He worked for over 40 years in IT, first writing software for a fire alarm system manufacturer, later as an SAP basis consultant (SAP is a software to manage business operations) before retiring in 2018. Elizabeth Hafner-Lanz's oral history interview reflects on her life at large, and more specifically on her childhood, and how her childhood impacted her as a person. In particular, she recounts how the traumatic loss of a close relative impacted her family system, her later life decisions, and her romantic relationship with Werner Hafner-Lanz (born 1953). In the second part of the interview, Elisabeth Hafner-Lanz recounts her professional life, how her relationship of almost 50 years with Werner Hafner-Lanz evolved, her journey in overcoming her traumas, how she decided to have children, and what feminism means to her. Werner Hafner-Lanz's (born 1953) oral history recounts childhood memories of his upbringing in the outskirts of Zurich, his fascination with flying, and how his career path evolved from an electrical engineer to an SAP basis consultant. He describes the technological changes he witnessed over the course of his life, from the telephone to the first personal computers at his office. In the second part of the interview, he remembers his time in the Swiss army, what the Cold War meant to him, and how he related to the student protests in the 1970s. He also reflects on the almost 50 years of relationship with his wife Elisabeth Hafner-Lanz. Nicolas Hafner is the son of Elisabeth Hafner-Lanz and Werner Hafner-Lanz, born in 1991, and currently a PhD student in International History and Politics at the Geneva Graduate Institute.
The transcripts of these interviews are available upon request at the Graduate Institute Archives by writing to archives[at]graduateinstitute.ch.
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