Oral History Archive "That Side"

Photo source / author: tastorona.su

Project objectives

Publication of biographical interviews of Soviet prisoners of war, Ostarbeiters and prisoners of Nazi concentration camps.

Project description

Oral History Archive "That Side" is a web-based collection of interviews of former Ostarbeiters, prisoners of war and prisoners of German camps and a place for publishing materials related to the topic. We are interested in “that side” - beyond official celebrations, pages of textbooks, troop movements - the lives of ordinary people who find themselves in the orbit of the most tragic events in the world history.

The project is based on the archive of the Memorial Society. The archive contains more than 300 hours-long interviews recorded from the late 1980s until recently, and about 400 thousand letters from former ostarbeiters sent to the then newly-emerged Memorial in 1990-1991. We receive interviews, photographs and documents from this archive. 

Project outcomes

Specially for the project, an "Archivist" system of publishing text sources was developed, which allows for convenient decryption marking and creating different types of pointers and auxiliary dictionaries.

Thorough processing of all interviews allows to turn disparate (and often contradictory) stories into a single memory base for an entire generation of people. Through the search system, one can understand which topics are covered in each interview and go directly to the fragments of interest.

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