Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2005

In Osteuropa 4-6/2005

The map of memory
Young people report on the war

Irina Ščerbakova

Deutsche Fassung


In 1999 Memorial announced a historical competition for high school students. So far 15,000 entries have been submitted, and the Great Patriotic War plays an important role. As a rule the contributions written by these young people describe the typical biography of a peasant family: young peasants were called up, left home to do their duty, managed to write one or two awkward letters home, and died in battle. Memories of the war are those of these young people’s grandmothers and great-grandmothers. The stories they have written down paint a unique picture of everyday life behind the front line. They also show that there are regional and ethnic differences in the memories recorded. Some associated the war with occupation, for others it meant deportation, and for others it was a matter of evacuation. Every different form provides an incentive for reflection, memory, and thinking about the past.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2005, pp. 419–432)