MEMO Study

With "MEMO Germany - Multidimensional Memory Monitor", the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence Bielefeld (IKG) has been researching since 2018 what, how and for what citizens of Germany historically remember. The aim is an empirical documentation of the culture of remembrance prevailing in Germany, recorded in the form of a representative opinion survey addressed to a cross-section of the population.

Figure from Memo 2021

  • More than 80%

    of the respondents deny, that their ancestors had forced laborers working at their companies, in their households, or on their farms. (MEMO-Study 2021)

One particular focus is on remembering the Shoah and the persecution, eviction and extermination of individual people and groups of people during the National Socialist era. MEMO Germany shows what is historically significant for citizens and their own attitudes towards the culture of remembrance. Numerous debates take place concerning the state of the culture of remembrance in relation to National Socialism. MEMO provides data on which culture of remembrance is reflected in citizens' perceptions and experiences. This is intended to make the debates more objective. The assessments obtained by inquiries also provide impetus for contemporary historical-political education in Germany.

Studies and focus reports

All studies are also available in German and some in Russian. Since 2020, a focus report summarizing the most important findings has also been published. 

Preview of the MEMO Youth Study

MEMO Study IV (2021)

A differentiated understanding of Germany’s National Socialist past can help to oppose tendencies to instrumentalize and relativize history. This is one of the conclusions reached by the “Multidimensional Remembrance Monitor – MEMO Deutschland IV/2021” published by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) at Bielefeld University. MEMO is an annual survey funded by the EVZ Foundation (Remembrance, Responsibility and Future). Because of the revisionist incidents in the context of the so-called “corona demonstrations,” the study looked at how the participants responded to comparisons between current events and National Socialism. The results show that, when asked directly, around 90 percent of the respondents disagree that the suffering of the German population during the Covid-19 pandemic can be compared with that of people during the time of National Socialism.

MEMO Study III (2020)

The third study assesses participants’ subjective knowledge of different aspects of National Socialism, such as their knowledge about the everyday life and attitudes of the German population in the time of National Socialism; it further addresses films as specific ways of critically examining the period of National Socialism in more detail and examines participants’ retrospective interpretation of what happened in Germany in 1945 – end of the war, defeat or liberation?

Figure from the 2020 study

  • 65%

    of the respondents assessed that they themselves would have helped potential victims during the time of National Socialism. A different picture emerges when the population as a whole is the subject: respondents think that only 15% of the German population helped victims during the time of National Socialism.

  • 57,8%

    of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their own family’s history is part of the German culture of remembrance. (MEMO 2020)

MEMO Study II (2019)

The present study is enabling us to trace developments in Germany. In addition, MEMO II deepens the topics that were only touched on in the first survey. In particular, the perception of and ways of critically examining the time of National Socialism in Germany were enquired about in more detail. MEMO II, was conducted in November and December 2018 after critical reflection on the results with experts from the fields of science and practice of the culture of remembrance.

MEMO Study I (2018)

With "MEMO Germany - Multidimensional Memory Monitor", the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence Bielefeld (IKG) has been researching since 2018 what, how and for what german citizens historically remember. MEMO I was conducted as a representative telephone survey from December 2017 to February 2018. The results were made available to a broad public in the form of this report. The study is designed as a long-term observation.

Figure from Study 2018

  • 69,2%

    of the respondents deny, that their ancestors were among the perpetrators of World War II (MEMO 2018)

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Contact people

Corinna Jentzsch

Senior Project Manager

Tel.: +49 (0)30 25 92 97-26
E-Mail: jentzsch@stiftung-evz.de

Katrin Kowark

Head of Communications

Tel.: +49 (0)30 25 92 97-24
E-Mail: kowark@stiftung-evz.de

Head of Project at IKG Institute

Michael Papendick, Project Manager for the IKG/FGZ study at Institute IKG (Intitut für interdisziplinäre Konflikt- und Gewaltforschung, IKG) Bielefeld