#WatchOutHistory

Illuminating gaps, telling unheard stories, showing connections: Under this motto, the EVZ Foundation will focus in 2023 and 2024 on lesser-known events, places and victim biographies relating to the crimes of the National Socialists.

Overview of selected projects

  1. [Translate to Englisch:] Teilnehmende auf dem jüdischen Friedhof Zittau.

    YOUNG PEOPLE remember

    We followed up on our completed projects: We delved into the biographies of heroes, visited the Naliboki Forest in Belarus, and learned a lot about forgotten memories. Read the report now

  2. [Translate to Englisch:] Teilnehmende des Salon Lilka in Berlin.

    Tact and Endurance

    The local.history funding program enables the EVZ Foundation to support local and regional history initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe. Where are the gaps in our cultures of remembrance and the forgotten places of Nationalist Socialist history? Sponsors from Poland report.

  3. [Translate to Englisch:] Screenshot der Website stalag352.by

    Soviet Prisoners of War

    On the outskirts of Minsk, the German Wehrmacht established Stalag 352. For a long time, the history of the "main camp" and its victims was suppressed from the historical memory of World War II. A multimedia website impressively visualizes German crimes.

Website

Background information

Three questions for... Dr. Katja Makhotina

In our column "Three Questions for...", we regularly gather the voices of project and cooperation partners and experts. Dr. Katja Makhotina is a research assistant at the Department of Eastern European History at the University of Bonn. In this Interview, the historian talks about the memory of World War II. Why do Southeastern European countries in general hardly play a role in Germans' memories of the war? What have been the consequences of these blank spots in the culture of remembrance so far? And how, under the impression of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, can a differentiated remembrance of the violent history of East Central and Eastern Europe take place?

 

On the trail of the Perpetrators of "Aktion Reinhardt"

Peter Römer is a scientific-pedagogical assistant of the History Place Villa ten HompelIn our Interview, the historian explains why it is important for employees of the police and judiciary to deal with crimes of National Socialism. What approach does the History Place take to occupation-specific historical-political education about Nazi crimes? Which experiences within the project were surprising, which ones point to grievances or needs? 

As part of the project "On the trail of the Perpetrators“, German and Polish police officers visited historical sites of the so-called "Aktion Reinhardt" together in 2021. The trip to the present-day memorial sites of "Aktion Reinhardt" in Bełżec and Sobibór offered an insight into German crimes, the arrival routes of the persecutees and the question of witnesses in the vicinity of the murder camps. In many cases, the participants drew on the testimonies of the few survivors and perpetrator sources. 

Thousands of memories

Dr. Kateryna Kobchenko works on the indexing of interviews with Western Ukrainian forced laborers as part of the online archive "Forced Labor 1939-1945" at Freie Universität Berlin.
In the interview, she explains what is special about the partial collection. The historian points out how valuable the testimonies of contemporary witnesses are. In addition, she gives insights into how the process of indexing the interviews work.