The Politics of Memory as a Weapon - Perspectives on Russia’s War against Ukraine

8. Februar 2023 - 10. Februar 2023, he Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation, Berlin (Stresemannstraße 90, 10963 Berlin) & ONLINE


European Network Remembrance and Solidarity

Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe, Oldenburg

in cooperation with

the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation, Berlin


Registration for onsite and online event (free of charge): https://cutt.ly/politicsofmemory2023register



Streaming: https://www.youtube.com/@fluchtvertreibungversoehnung



Day One, 8 February 2023


Opening and introduction





Opening lecture: Andrii Portnov (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt /Oder), Rethinking memory studies at the time of war



Discussion panel: What should we have known about Russia and Ukraine before the war? The limitations of the European intellectual and political discourse 

Moderator: Volker Weichsel (Journal “Osteuropa”)

Guido Hausmann (University of Regensburg), Martin Šimečka (Magazine “Respekt”, Bratislava), Marek Cichocki (College of Europe Natolin, Warsaw), Chantal Delsol (University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée)



15:00–15:30 Break



Discussion panel: Political approaches to Central and Eastern Europe

Moderator: Gemma Pörzgen (Berlin)

Andrej Kolesnikov (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Moscow) (online), Anna Kwiatkowska (Centre for Eastern Studies, Warsaw), Hans-Christian Petersen (BKGE, Oldenburg)


17:00–18:15 Break and optional guided tour of the exhibition of the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation



Discussion panel: Russlands Krieg in der Ukraine ­– Zwischen Imperialismus und (Selbst-)Zerstörung? / Russia's War in Ukraine: Between Imperialism and (Self-)Destruction? (interpretation provided)

Moderator: Christoph von Marschall (Tagesspiegel)

Irina Scherbakova (Memorial, Weimar), Marieluise Beck (Zentrum Liberale Moderne, Berlin), Andrzej Nowak (Jagiellonian University, Cracow), Antoine Arjakovsky (Collège des Bernardins, Paris)



Day Two, 9 February


Discussion panel: European perceptual patterns and stereotypes of Russia and Ukraine (I)

Moderator: Jan Puhl (Der Spiegel)

Wilfried Jilge (Centre for International Peace Operations, Berlin), Maria Domańska (Centre for Eastern Studies, Warsaw), Elmira Muratova (Aarhus University), Alessandro Vitale (University of Milan)


11:00–11:30 Break



Panel: European perceptual patterns and stereotypes of Russia and Ukraine (II)

Moderator: Bartosz Dziewanowski-Stefańczyk (ENRS)

Burkhard Olschowsky (BKGE, Oldenburg), German Ostpolitik – traditional patterns and new approaches

Oldřich Tůma (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague), On the crossroads of memory and politics: the Czech Republic and the Russian aggression against Ukraine?

Attila Pók (Institute of Advanced Study, Kőszeg), Hungarian perspectives on Ukraine and Russia

Juraj Marušiak (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava), Slovak perspectives on Ukraine and Russia


13:00–14:00 Lunch break


Panel: Culture and art in the face of the war

Moderator: Beate Störtkuhl (BKGE, Oldenburg)

Konstantin Akinsha (International Association of Art Critics, UK) (online), “You can’t go back to Constantinople”: fetishism of history as an excuse for looting of cultural property

Varvara Keidan Shavrova (Royal College of Art, London), The art of self-determination – how the creative communities in Ukraine and the Baltic States can resist the Russia's invasion’

Alina Mozolevska (Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, Mykolaiv), Weaponisation of history in the visual discourse of Russia’s war in Ukraine

Olga Radchenko (National University of Cherkassy), Ukrainian and Russian film productions about the Second World War: potential and dangers


15:30–16:00 Break



Panel: Human rights and the war as judicial issues

Moderator: Arkadiusz Radwan (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas)

Vera Dubina (Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, Bremen), From memory law to memory war: abuses of history in contemporary Russia

Aarif Abraham (Garden Court North Chambers, Manchester), The Special tribunal for the crime of aggression committed in Ukraine

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (University of Oslo), Transitional justice after empire? The politics of memory holes, doublethink and a shared future-time

Paula Rhein-Fischer (University of Cologne), Russia and the European court of human rights: A farewell in stages

Tetyana Sheptytska/ Mykola Bryvko (National Historical and Cultural Reserve “Bykovnyanskie Graves”, Kyiv) (online), The politics of memory of burial places as a tool of opposition to the Russian Federation



Day Three, 10 February



Panel: Russian and Ukrainian identity and history – weaponisation of history

Moderator: Annemarie Franke (ENRS)

Hans-Christian Trepte (Leipzig University), Kyivan Rus. Between myth and claim to power

Dieter Pohl (Klagenfurt University), The Origins of Russian official history discourse on Ukrainian nationalism (“Nazism”)

Jörg Morré (Museum Berlin-Karlshorst), The militarization of Russian historical research and education

Alexandr Osipian (Free University of Berlin), Weaponisation of the  history of the Second World War in Russia-Ukraine conflict, 2014–2022


11:00–11:30 Break



Panel: Strategies and possible measures to combat disinformation

Moderator: Raphael Krüger (Berlin)

José Manuel López Torán (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real), Combating new era wars on digital battlefields: disinformation, propaganda, and social media in Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Malkhaz Toria (Ilia State University, Tbilisi), Russian disinformation, illiberal populism and struggles over solidarity with Ukraine in Georgia

Florin Abraham (National University of Political Science and Public Administration, Bucharest), Analysis of Romanian narratives about Russia's aggression against Ukraine: themes, actors and media tools

Łukasz Kamiński (Wrocław University), Combating disinformation: the role of historians


13:00  Closing remarks

Jan Rydel (Pedagogical University of Cracow), Matthias Weber (BKGE, Oldenburg)