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"Commemoration without Knowledge? Soviet arrests and special camps in the culture of remembrance since 1990"

"Commemoration without knowledge?" is the title of the next digital colloquium event of the research network "Dictatorship experience and transformation" at the University of Erfurt. On Thursday, 15 April, it will focus on Soviet arrests and special camps in the culture of remembrance since 1990. Speakers will be Dr Julia Landau and Franz Waurig from the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation. The event begins at 4 pm.

Provisional wooden cross as the first memorial sign for the deceased inmates of the special camps on Cemetery I on the northern slope of the Ettersberg near Weimar, 31 March 1990. (Photo: Joachim Siegert)

In the GDR, there was official silence about the Soviet arrests and special camps after 1945. At the same time, there was limited knowledge about this, which was mainly passed on privately. In 1989/90 it was possible to talk about it publicly for the first time. Those affected organised themselves, and newly erected monuments commemorated the "victims of Stalinism". Archive sources became accessible and were used as the basis for source editions and exhibitions. In the practice of remembrance culture, however, it is still evident today that the results of research are hardly received by the public. Using exemplary regional examples, the DuT project team will explore the question of how the experiences of Soviet repression are remembered, discussed and represented locally.


  • Dr. Julia Landau is the curator for the history of the Soviet Special Camp No. 2 in Buchenwald.
  • Franz Waurig is a research assistant in the BMBF sub-project "Commemoration without knowledge? The Soviet Special Camps in the Post-Socialist Culture of Remembrance" within the research network "Dictatorship Experience and Transformation".

The colloquium will take place digitally via the Cisco Webex platform (meeting room: uni-erfurt.webex.com/meet/DuT.Erfurt). The meeting room will open 15 minutes before the start of the event. No separate registration is necessary, you can join the meeting directly via your browser.

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