7 stories of awarded war witnesses

Multimedia storytelling

Author Leonid Levin History Workshop

We have gathered the stories of Nazi crimes witnesses awarded on 4 March, 2020 with the Order "For the Services to the Federal Republic of Germany". For many years they have been actively involved in the educational work of Leonid Levin History Workshop and Johannes Rau Minsk International Educational Center (IBB Minsk).

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Instagram "My Memory WW2"


Author Alina Lebedeva (Russia)

Each family’s unique story of World War II. A look at the family history helps to return the optics aimed at a small person in the context of landmark events, their individual pain, tragedy, and the difficulty of choice that they have to make. In September 2019, a series of interviews were conducted and an Instagram channel with videos was launched. Record your story and post it on Instagram with hashtags #ww2mm, #mm2ww

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The channel was created within the "Teaching History 4.0" project supported by the German Federal Foreign Ministry.

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Multimedia storytelling

Author Olga Grytsuk (Minsk) & Svetlana Pakhomova (Moscow)

A multimedia art project for interacting with the viewer through textual, audio and visual materials. The core of the project and the main dramatic element lies at the three photographs and a small piece of handwritten paper that resembles either a prayer or a conspiracy with an emotional plea that the war does not happen again. Photos and a leaflet were found by VEHA initiative in 2019 in one of the endangered villages of Belarus - in an old dilapidated house under floorboards. These materials have not been used or published anywhere before.

"The note would have seemed absolute nonsense to us if it had not been so over-emotional and accurate in dates. Our search for at least any information about the ladies in the photographs and a small note resulted in an honest conversation about the difficult period of the 1940s, traumas and the impact of the past "- write the authors Olga Grytsuk and Svetlana Pakhomova.

The material was created within the "Teaching History 4.0" project supported by the German Federal Foreign Ministry.

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Author Johannes Rau Minsk International Education Centre (IBB Minsk)

A collection of the best publications prepared by Belarusian and Ukrainian journalists within the IBB Minsk School of Journalism “Memory Culture and Historical Policy” course held in 2019. The coursebook unfolds the traumatic pages of the twentieth century history, personal tragedies, fates of witnesses and participants of those events. It also shows the connection between the past and the present, as well as attempts at mutual reconciliation and awareness of the common history in Belarus, Ukraine and Germany.

Project documentation "Memory of WW2 in museums and memorial sites of Ukraine and Russia"


Author Viktoriya Naumenko (Ukraine) & Dmitry Astashkin (Russia)

Each country builds its memory of the past in accordance with its national myths, ideals and political needs. To this day the theme of WW2 in Ukraine and Russia remains at the center of public discussions and a watershed in historical memory, splitting citizens of both countries politically, ideologically and mentally. The majority of museums and memorials reflect the dominant rhetoric of each country's memory policy, which does not contribute to the establishment of a productive intercultural dialogue and leads to “memory wars”. The Russian-Ukrainian war, started in 2014, led to exacerbation of negative trends in memory culture and intensifies the confrontation between the people of the countries.

The project objective was to establish a dialogue between humanitarian students of two countries to familiarize them with competing narratives about the WW2 memory and to determine the starting points that facilitate their rapprochement. Humanities students visited memory sites in Veliky Novgorod, Lviv, Dnieper, Zhydachiv, recorded nine short videos and commented on those, which were subsequently discussed at the "Culture of WW2 memory" seminars. The idea for the seminar was developed as part of the "Teaching History 4.0" project supported by the the German Federal Foreign Ministry.

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