This page will collect all events creating an alternative culture of remembrance about 8/9 of May. If you want us to add your event, please fill in the form:
Camp at the memorial for the fallen Soviet soldiers in Berlin-Tiergarten
In the context of the war that the Putin regime is waging against Ukraine, we revisit the historical significance of this place and date.
The programme: information stands, a stage for speeches, music and art, various interactive workshops.
The Ukrainians are people with dreams, feelings and hopes: hopes for victory and an end to the war. Will Europe respond to their call and support this struggle of Ukrainians for peace?
We all saw the photos from Bucha, but we don’t know that well how the people in Bucha felt before and after the massacre. We will give them a voice and will read five text in German translation from people who witnessed the Bucha massacre. The texts are emotional and the emotions will be underlined by accompanying classical music (Bach).
We will read parts of stories by Vasily Grossman and Varlaam Shalamov about the Nazi cruelties during the Second World War in occupied Poland and also about the every day life in Stalin’s GULAGs. The reading will be in different languages.
We will read testimonies of people who witnessed and survived the Holocaust in Ukraine. At the beginning, we will give a short input into the topic. The reading will be in German.
May 8th is a historic date in Europe. Today there is war in Europe again!
Let’s take to the streets together on May 8th and send a clear signal against these imperial aggressions. Let us fight in solidarity for Ukraine and other oppressed peoples!
The meeting point of the march is at 18 March Square
Lecture by Anke Giesen in German and Russian:
The culture of remembrance and history politics and thus also the foreign and domestic politics of nations is characterized by victories and defeats, and thus also by feelings of pride, disgrace and shame. Germany and Russia have a special relationship in this respect.
World War II is remebered very differently in different countries. In some parts of what is now the European Union, the picture is of one aggressor – Nazi Germany – and coalition of allies fighting against it. In Central and Eastern Europe, the picture is more complex. For many, liberation by the Red Army meant the start of another form of totalitarian subjugation. The result is very different memories of the war in different countries, and large differences in the way the story of the war is taught.
We will show a part of the exhibition “Different Wars” that depicts WWII in national school textbooks in Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Russia. In addition, we will present lesson materials prepared by teachers from Belarus, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine using multiperspectivity approach and tackling history teaching of WWII history. In a new contenxt of war, this work should be discussed further and new approaches should be found.
Commemoration ceremony and tribute to the former prisoners of the Berlin-Lichterfelde satellite concentration camp. Belarusian Community Razam e.V. is invited.
From 1939 to 1945, the Nazi arms manufacturers Wolff & Co and its subsidiary Eibia GmbH used about 20,000 foreign and forced labourers from various European nations in the Liebenau powder factory (near Hanover). More than 2,000 of them – mostly Soviet prisoners of war and Eastern European prisoners of the “Liebenau labour education camp” – died of deficiency diseases, hunger and beatings as well as from shootings and executions. They were buried in a factory-owned cemetery, today’s Deblinghausen-Hesterberg war cemetery.
The commemoration ceremony for the liberation and end of the war in 1945 (here April 1945) is deliberately taking place again this year on 8 May – with the descendants of former forced labourers from the powder factory in Ukraine and other Ukrainians who were taken in as refugees in Liebenau and the surrounding area via partner organisations of the Documentation Centre.
Common remembrance in the migration society thrives on the diversity of memories. Sometimes this diversity can also become a challenge, e.g. when others interpret the story completely differently than I do. How can we organize remembrance on site in such a way that everyone can connect? In the workshop we will deal with possible ways and methods for a common remembrance on site. In addition, there are impulses on the topic of multi-perspectivity in the teaching of history as well as on questions of tolerating differences when remembering and on helpful communication options.
Speaker: Ruth Wunnicke, Against Forgetting – For Democracy e.V.
World War II ended many decades ago, but it is still a part of our present. In Russia it is misused in propaganda to justify the attack on Ukraine, the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany is reinterpreted as the basis of modern Russian statehood and is intended to legitimize Putin’s regime and his claims on the world. At the same time, the tactics and crimes of the Russian army in Ukraine evoke memories of the actions of the Soviet army in World War II: Immense casualties on their own side, violence against the population of the conquered areas, political reprisals and looting. For the countries occupied by the USSR, the end of the war meant the beginning of a new oppression. The Soviet monuments were important symbols and even instruments of Soviet rule. Today they will, especially on 8./9. May, used by pro-Russian forces to demonstrate support for Russia’s regime and its wars. How do you deal with this legacy? What could a new culture of remembrance look like? What lessons need to be re-learned? We talk about this with the German-Ukrainian writer Katja Petrowskaja and the historian Jan Claas Behrends.
Moderator: Nikolai Klimeniouk, Initiative Quorum
A group of prepared volunteers will be there at places of commeration to talk to people about the war in Ukraine and current war, depunking the myths created by Russian propaganda, as well as the problematic positions of the German left.