Deutsch-Ukrainische Historikerkommission
05.09.2019-06.09.2019, Dnipro, Tkuma Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust
Deadline: 09.05.2019

All wars leave survivors, and all survivors deal with a wartime
experience in very different ways – individually and privately, but also
institutionally, collectively, nationally. While many may prefer to
forget what is often a traumatic period of their lives, others seem
compelled to remember battles won and lost, sacrifices made and
suffering endured.

In that regard, memories of the Second World War in Germany and Ukraine
since 1945 allow for case studies that are both challenging and
fascinating. Ukraine was occupied by the Wehrmacht within half a year of
Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 and endured economic
exploitation and mass murder, especially of its Jewish population, on an
unprecedented scale. Still, Ukraine came out on the winning side, as a
part of the victorious Soviet Union. The “Day of Victory”, however, is a
bit of a cumbersome holiday since Ukraine has split from the Soviet
Union and finds herself in an open conflict with Russia today. On top of
that, the various, very situational reactions of Ukraine’s population
and of the Ukrainian nationalist underground to the German occupation
and, later, to the advancing Soviet Army, allow not for one, but many
competing memories of the Second World War. They continue to be a matter
of passionate historical debates and have an enormous public relevance
in Ukraine today, especially since the Euromaidan and the Russian

Germany’s memories of the Second World War are equally complex, even
though it is difficult to think of a more different set of
circumstances. Here, learning to reinterpret “defeat” as “liberation”
took considerable time, and it took even longer to learn about – and
accept – the full scale of German crimes committed during World War II.
While these crimes are not really in dispute as facts, symptoms of a
desire for focusing on “German victims” of the war have recently
appeared – or resurfaced – in various segments of the public sphere,
from TV shows to political parties. 

The fifth annual conference of the German-Ukrainian Historical
Commission picks up where last year’s conference on Germany and Ukraine
in the Second World War left off and intends to explore how the Second
World War used to be remembered in both countries since 1945, and how it
is remembered today. If German and Ukrainian memories have any common
ground regarding Ukraine specifically remains to be seen.

While we chiefly aim to initiate a German-Ukrainian dialogue about these
issues, academic contributions from other countries are also very
welcome. You are invited to send in papers dealing with the following
issues – with Ukraine and Germany as main points of reference:
– Private and public ways of remembering the Second World War,
– Fragmented and competing memories of the Second World War,
– Memories of wartime and occupation realities: battles, forced labor,
mass murder, resistance, collaboration
– Memories transformed: the impact of political change and transition,
– Memories lost: the disappearance of eye-witnesses and its effect on
remembering the Second World War.

Please submit your proposals (500-800 words) and a short CV (one page
maximum) to Dr. Pascal Trees ( by May 9, 2019.
Accommodation will be provided and travel expenses refunded for
conference speakers. Conference languages will be English and Ukrainian.
As we aim to publish the conference’s results, please be prepared to
hand in your paper in a form that is fit for publication. 
The German-Ukrainian Historical Commission is supported by the German
Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of
the Federal Republic of Germany and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. 
For organizational questions please contact: /
+49 89

The conference program will be published once the selection process for
the papers received is complete.

Pascal Trees

Deutsch-Ukrainische Historikerkommission, LMU München,
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, 80539 München