Conference Announcement: War of Annihilation, Reactions, Remembrance The German Occupation Regime in the Soviet Union 1941-1944

On June 22, 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The preparations for this attack were aimed at an unprecedented war of annihilation which took for granted the death of many millions in the territories to be conquered. A brutal policy of murder, repression and hunger followed the invasion immediately. Over three million Soviet prisoners of war were not the only group of casualties. The civilian population was targeted as well. Millions starved to death or were killed as part of the fight against Partisans. The Jewish population, Roma and civilian officials of the Soviet Party and state apparatus were killed specifically, as were often patients of mental institutions. Millions of locals were forced to work for the occupiers. International researchers convening at this conference will examine these different aspects of the German occupation regime and investigate the reactions on the part of the local population. In what way was everyday life in the occupied territories affected? What were the specific experiences women made? What can we tell about the population’s strategies of survival and resistance? Last but not least, we turn our attention to the remembrance of German occupation in Russia, Belarus, the Baltic states and Ukraine. The aim of the conference is to reflect on recent controversies concerning particular issues, as well as to discuss open questions in this field of research.

To attend the conference we kindly ask you to register no later than October 15, 2012 by e-mail to
Ms Tatjana Turowez:
The number of participants is limited to 100. There is no conference fee.

[updated 17.09.2012]

Arrival of participants and speakers

8:00 pm
Public event at the Centrum Judaicum, Oranienburger Str. 28/30, 10117 Berlin
Welcome: Jörg Morré, Director Museum Berlin Karlshorst

World War II in the Museum. Cultures of Remembrance in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine
Moderator Stefan Troebst (Leipzig)
N.N. Representatives of Museums in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine

9:30 am – Registration

10:00 am
Keynote address: Christian Gerlach (Bern)
From a History of the Confrontation between Two Political Systems to that of Two Societies in Conflict

10:30 am PANEL 1: Mass Murder
Mod. Wolfgang Benz (Berlin)
Boris Zabarko (Kiev): The Holocaust in Ukraine
Martin Holler (Berlin): The Extermination of Roma in the German-Occupied Soviet Union 1941-1945

11:30 am – Coffee break

12:00 noon PANEL 2: Hunger Politics
Mod. Alex J. Kay (Frankfurt a.M.)
Karel C. Berkhoff (Amsterdam): Famine in the Cities of Ukraine during World War II
Jörg Ganzenmüller (Jena): Hunger Plan or Hunger Strategy? The Decision to Besiege Leningrad in Autumn 1941

1:00 pm – Lunch break

2:00 pm PANEL 3: Prisoners of War
Mod. Christian Streit (Heidelberg)
Jens Nagel (Zeithain): Mass Dying Among Soviet POWs in the Occupied Territories. Current Research on its Course and Extent
Felix Römer (London): The Wehrmacht and the “Kommissarbefehl”

3:00 pm PANEL 4: Forced Labour and Migration
Mod. Jens-Christian Wagner (Nordhausen)
Markus Eikel (The Hague): Labour Recruitment and Deportation in the “Reichskommissariat Ukraine” 1941-1944
Pavel Polian (Freiburg): Forced Migration and its Effects

4:00 pm – Coffee break

4:30 pm PANEL 5: Perpetrators
Mod. Michaela Kipp (Göttingen)
Harald Welzer (Berlin): Soldiers and Other Perpetrators of Violence in the War of Annihilation
Frank Werner (Bielefeld): War, Mass Murder and Masculinity. Images of the Self Among German Soldiers in the War of Annihilation 1941-1944

5:30 pm – Dinner at the conference venue


9:00 am
Keynote address: Dieter Pohl (Klagenfurt)
Society under German Occupation in the Soviet Union

9:30 am PANEL 6: Everyday Life and Strategies of Survival
Mod. Michael Wildt (Berlin)
Tanja Penter (Hamburg): Everyday Life in the Donbass Region Christoph Dieckmann (Keele/Frankfurt a.M.): The “Black Markets”. Relations within and outside the ghettos in Lithuania 1942/43

10:30 am – Coffee break

11:00 pm PANEL 7: Gender-Specific Experience
Mod. Beate Fieseler (Düsseldorf)
Irina Rebrova (Krasnodar): Survival Strategies of Women under Occupation and in the Partisan Brigades: Fighting, Work and Everyday Life
Regina Mühlhäuser (Hamburg): War and Sex. Sexual Acts of Violence, Prostitution and Consensual Relations between German Soldiers and Local Women

12:00 noon – Lunch break

1:00 pm PANEL 8: Collaboration / Cooperation
Mod. Rolf-Dieter Müller (Potsdam)
Babette Quinkert (Berlin): Appeals for Cooperation. German Propaganda Addressed at the Red Army and the Civilian Population Sergei Kudryashov (Moscow): Collaboration Among Russians

2:00 pm PANEL 9: Resistance
Mod. Peter Klein (Berlin)
Kenneth Slepyan (Lexington): Did the Soviet Partisans Form a Social Movement?
Anika Walke (St. Louis): Of Refuge and Resistance: Soviet Jews in Byelorussia and the Nazi genocide

3:00 pm – Coffee break

3:30 pm
Keynote address: Imke Hansen (Hamburg)
Remembrance of the Great Patriotic War Between the Parameters of Victory and Loss

4:00 pm PANEL 10: Remembrance in Russia and Ukraine
Mod. Irina Sherbakova (Moscow)
Julia Demidienko (St. Petersburg): Remembrance in Russia Today
Frank Golczewski (Hamburg): Dilemmas of Ukrainian Remembrance

5:00 pm – Coffee break

5:30 pm PANEL 11: Remembrance in Belarus and the Baltic States
Mod. Cordula Gdaniec (Berlin)
Christian Ganzer (Kiev): Remembering War and Occupation in Belarus Saulius Sužiedėlis (Pennsylvania): Baltic Memories and the War of Destruction 1941-1945

6:30 pm
Closing remarks, Rolf-Dieter Müller (Potsdam)

7:00 pm – Conference end

SUNDAY, 10:00 am
Transfer to the German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst, guided tour in the historic hall of surrender
(if interested, please indicate when registering)

Working languages of the conference are German, English and Russian, with simultaneous translation

Ms Tatjana Turowez
Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst
Zwieseler Straße 4
10318 Berlin
Tel. +49-30-50150842

Email: turowez@museum-karlshorst
Visit the website at

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