On February 24, 2022, Russia escalated its war on Ukraine by launching a massive wave of attacks on the entire country. This is the first time in decades that Europe has been the scene of a major military conflict. The death toll is rising with every day that passes. The Arolsen Archives regularly report on facts, individual fates, and historical context in order to provide sound background information about diverse aspects of the war.

Why does Putin use the term “denazification” to justify his war of aggression? What can we do for survivors of Nazi persecution who live in Ukraine? Why is Putin using the politics of memory as a weapon? How can we preserve Ukrainian archives? We provide answers in the interviews and background articles that follow.


Russia’s war against memory

“The Russian government is using the politics of memory as a weapon”: Floriane Azoulay, the Director of the Arolsen Archives, talks about how this propaganda works, discusses possible solutions, and invokes a new European culture of remembrance.

Read the interview


Putin’s “denazification”

The “denazification” of Ukraine is the narrative used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify his war of aggression on Ukraine. Dr. Juliane Fürst, an expert on the history of Eastern Europe and Head of the “Communism and Society” department at the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Potsdam, and Dr. Henning Borggräfe, Head of Research and Education at the Arolsen Archives at the time (now the Director of the NS-Documentation Center of the City of Cologne) talked about this myth and provided some historical context at an online event.

Watch the recording (in German)

Trauma and re-traumatization

The war in Ukraine can re-awaken memories of earlier experiences of violence and war – even outside the war zone. Social scientist Iris Wachsmuth talked to us about how trauma manifests itself and about how it can be dealt with.

Read the interview 

Escape from Ukraine

Millions of Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of Russia’s war of aggression. Andrii Aloshin from Luhansk is one of them. The pastor now provides pastoral care for children who have fled Ukraine at a school in Bavaria.

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What the figures really mean

“Death is only the tip of the iceberg.” In this interview, conflict researcher Therese Pettersson explains how to interpret the figures on civilian casualties in a military conflict correctly.

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