Historical Research and Educational Work
Extensive historical research is instrumental in finding the locations of mass grave sites, determining the number of victims, and establishing the fates of individual victims and survivors. It also helps to ascertain the identity of the perpetrators and to piece together the course of the crimes. Moreover, it is important to record the transformation of the sites of remembrance themselves. Both the history of Jewish communities and their extermination in the Holocaust and the history of remembrance need to be the subject of scholarly research and made accessible to the local community and the public at large.
The tools for historical research and educational work employed within the »Connecting Memory« project encompass the following:
- in-depth historical studies of Jewish life and the events of the Holocaust in the communities participating in the project; these are carried out by the joint professional task force of historians from Ukraine and Germany and involve a wide range of sources in different languages;
- cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Conflict Landscapes at Osnabrück University, which promotes the development of digital infrastructure to preserve, systematize and provide access to historical materials, aerial photographs and LiDAR data; documenting the transformation of remembrance landscapes through topographic data; and more accurately identifying the location of mass grave sites;
- consulting of local museums to develop a joint strategy for integrating Holocaust history into new or redesigned exhibitions and interpreting it in the context of museum representations of the current war;
- presenting to the public essays and information boards produced through in-depth historical research;
- developing new formats for presenting history, for holding meetings in the community and for honouring the memory of the murdered, in particular with the use of eyewitness accounts, documentaries, podcasts, and the application of interdisciplinary approaches to Holocaust history;
- making accessible and publishing primary sources (diaries, memoirs, testimonies) to intensify educational and public initiatives concerning Holocaust history in local communities;
- regularly showing the »Protecting Memory« project’s touring exhibition in different regions of Ukraine and supplementing it with a programme of cultural events dedicated to Holocaust history;
- educational work with local schools, teachers and students. The educational programme aims to encourage teachers and secondary and postsecondary students to study local history independently and to involve them in the work on the sites of remembrance and the heritage sites. Together with our colleagues, we contribute to the development and piloting of new training formats and encourage work with primary sources.