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The Robert Schuman House was under private ownership for many years before being acquired by the Luxembourg Government in 1985. It was later decided that the Centre d’études et de recherches européennes Robert Schuman (Robert Schuman Centre for European Research, or CERE), the mission of which is to investigate Luxembourg’s role in the process of European integration, should be set up there. CERE joined the University of Luxembourg in 2016, and the C2DH was given the task of preserving the memory of the location and also keeping Schuman’s memory alive. 

Three individuals in particular played a central part in organising tours and visits to the Robert Schuman House in 2023, thereby bringing Schuman’s history to a wider audience. These are Research Assistant Guido Lessing and Research and Development Specialists Victoria Mouton and Marco Gabellini. Each brings with them a unique background that equips them for the task: both Mouton and Gabellini have previous experience working at the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (CVCE), while Lessing formerly worked at CERE.  

The team carried out a number of projects in 2023. As Lessing explains, “The first thing we tried to do is open up the Schuman House to a larger public… The house itself has a history, and even though schools, bridges, and so on are named after him, no one really knows who this person was, what he did, this link that exists between the European project of integration and a boy who was born in Luxembourg and spoke Luxembourgish.”  

The projects included the production of a documentary entitled “Robert Schuman: From Clausen to Europe – In the footsteps of a committed European”, which showcases the milestones in Schuman’s life, with a particular focus on his Luxembourgish roots and upbringing. 

The video includes a fascinating range of archival sources, with previously unheard audio extracts of Schuman along with personal documents, letters, photos and newspaper clippings linked to his life. As Mouton explains, other more traditional documentaries on Schuman do exist, but for this one “we tried to be a bit more innovative… The video is made up exclusively of cut-outs and original audio, so it’s a different kind of documentary.” The video has a graphic novel effect thanks to a partnership with the Milan-based agency Tokonoma. 

An accompanying booklet with the same title was also published in English, German, French and Luxembourgish.

Speaking about the materials, Gabellini says that one goal is to show a different side of the former French Foreign Minister: “I think it’s very important to see how he was educated in Luxembourg through his family. He was a very good student in school. This part of his Luxembourgish past forged his character for years to come.” Schuman was also a deeply religious, practising Catholic, an aspect which is highlighted at the house.

Tours of the Robert Schuman House are organised each year for a wide variety of groups ranging from European institutions to schools. There are also state visits: in July 2023, for instance, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg toured the house, after which the C2DH researchers explained its historical and European significance. Conferences, seminars and workshops are also regularly held on site. 

On Europe Day (9 May) there was a special open day, giving the public the opportunity to visit the house, see a video and browse two on-site exhibitions: “La déclaration Schuman, 9 Mai 1950” (The Schuman Declaration, 9 May 1950) and “All Land, eng Blumm” (Every Country, One Flower), which included drawings by children from the Clausen primary school, located just a stone’s throw from the house. 

The Robert Schuman House today is dedicated to the memory of both the Luxembourg youngster and the great statesman who helped lay the foundations of the European Union. A digital exhibition on the premises, accessible via a touchscreen, takes visitors through Schuman family photos and images tracing the history of the house. The exhibition also includes audio excerpts, which bring Schuman’s voice, speaking Luxembourgish, back into his boyhood home. 

More about The traces of Robert Schuman

Schuman House

Robert Schuman et sa déclaration pour l’Europe (9 mai 1950): Histoire, actualité et perspectives

Team: Victoria Mouton, Marco Gabellini, Guido Lessing