Our Mission and Experience
»Connecting Memory«, a Ukrainian-German project, was launched in 2020 with the mission of honouring and protecting sites of remembrance for the victims of National Socialist mass crimes through the development of a network of local initiatives capable of independently and systematically reintroducing the memory of the history of the Holocaust and the Roma genocide into local commemorative culture.
In 2023, we are a network of communities and experts who protect and honour the cultural heritage of local Jews and Roma, and look after the sites where victims of the Holocaust and of the Roma genocide are buried. We work together to establish a culture of remembrance of the Second World War, aware of the connection between the past, the present and the future of different communities and residents in Ukraine, and we advocate a multi-perspective approach to the history of Ukraine.
Since 24 February 2022 our work in Ukraine has intensified. In the face of the next stage of the Russian war of conquest against Ukraine, we have adjusted our tasks. Under the martial law conditions in place in Ukraine, the »Connecting Memory« community regularly exchanges local news, coordinates joint activities and addresses urgent needs. Despite the daily risks and physical danger, local civic initiatives persevere with their case studies and continue to run educational and cultural activities. The »Connecting Memory« project has taken on the role of supporting civil society within its partner communities.
We provide support to institutions affected or threatened by the deliberate destruction of educational institutions, cultural establishments and museums by Russian troops and the destruction and theft of historical and cultural collections.
»Connecting Memory« is sensitive to the need for Ukrainian society to draw responsible and conscious parallels between past and present – for this reason, we have set up an online space for reflection on the history of the Holocaust and World War II in the context of the present-day war against Ukraine.
The project’s work at the sites of crimes carried out under the German occupation, the memory of the victims of these crimes, the research into these sites and their transformation into places of remembrance and information, as well as the search for new ways to protect such landscapes of remembrance pose challenges that will become increasingly relevant due to the emergence of numerous sites of violence and mass graves resulting from the war launched by Russia.