On September 05, Fifth Annual Conference of the German-Ukrainian Historical Commission “Memories of the Second World War in Germany and Ukraine since 1945”, organized jointly with “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies started in Dnipro.

The conference started with a plenary session. Welcoming reports were made the following historians: Prof. Yaroslaav Hrytsak (Lviv) and Prof. Martin Schulze Wessel (Munich). During the work of the first section “Forming and Re-forming Memories of World War II” the speeches were made by Nadiia Honcharenko (Changes in War Narratives in and around Ukrainian History Textbooks: From the ‘Great Patriotic War’ to ‘Ukrainian Dimensions of World War II’), Dr. Oleksandr Grytsenko (“Decommunized”. Official Discourse of World War II in Ukraine. Main Motives, Key Messages, Modes of Reception).

No less interesting reports were made during the section “Memories on Display: Museums and Public Places”. Anne Hasselmann (“Muzeishchiki as Memorymakers”), Daria Kozlova (“Competing Historical Narratives on World War II in Ukrainian Museums and Memories after 1991”), Dr. Petro Dolhanov (“Competing Narratives: Memory of World War II in the Memorial Space of Rivne City”) shared their scientific experiences with the conference participants and listeners.

Separate section – “Impact of the Holocaust: Remembering Perpetrators and Rescuers” – was dedicated to the Righteous among the Nations and other rescuers. Dr. Igor Shchupak (“Memories and Documents on the Rescue of the Jews of Ukraine during the Holocaust. Between myths and facts “), Dr. Kateryna Budz (“The Holocaust in Eastern Galicia (1941-1944). The Rescue Initiatives of the Greek Catholic Church as Narrated by Jewish Survivors”), Dr. Albert Venger (“Tired from oral ... Stories of the Last Righteous among the Nations in Kyiv: Constructions and Contexts") made their reports during the session.

During the session “Church Influence on Shaping Memories of World War II” Anton Schtschelkunov (“Religious revival in 1941-1943 in the occupied territories in the collective and family memory of the Evangelical Christian Church”) and Yuliya Yurchuk (“Church Remembrances of War: Involvement of Religious Actors in the Formation of Memory of World War II in Post-1991 Ukraine”) discussed the topic. 

On September 6 the work of the International Conference continued. The sessions – “Fragmented Memories of War – Group-related Differences”, “Individual Dimensions of War Memories: Case Studies”, “Memories of Resistance, Memories of Collaboration” waited for the participants. Dr. Hans-Christian Petersen (Oldenburg), Verena Meier (Heidelberg), Dr. Anatolii Pogorielov (Mykolaiv), Dr. Olena Korzun (Vinnytsia), Dr. Oksana Khomiak (Kyiv), Martin-Paul Buchholz (Mainz), and Dr. Yuri Radchenko (Kharkiv) made very interesting group reports. Questions of Russian-German memory policy about World War II in Ukraine, experience of Ukrainian women work in The Hitler Youth privileged schools, cooperation of German and Ukrainian scientists during World War II, resistance to Nazi occupation in Ukraine and other current questions of World War II history were discussed during the sessions.

Introductory speech by Prof. Oleksandr Lysenko (Kyiv) on “The memory of World War II in Ukraine: Between Politics and Reflection and guided tour at the Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” was held during the second day of the conference.