Interviews with Experts

Scholars and experts comment on important questions regarding forced labor under National Socialism, indemnification, patterns of remembrance and life story interviews.

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Rob van der Laarse

War, Heritage and the Dynamics of Memory (in English)

Rob van der Laarse is research director of the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (ASHMS). He explains the dynamics in Dutch, German and European remembrance cultures. He discusses the role of Oral History collections and talks about the place of Nazi forced labor in these competing memories in postwar Europe. The interview was conducted in English.

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Piotr Filipkowski

The Commemoration of National Socialist Forced Labor in Poland (in English)

Piotr Filipkowski works at the Institute for Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Since 2002 he is member of KARTA, where he works in the Oral History Programme. In the interview he talks about KARTA's work and the role of Oral History in Poland. Furthermore, he highlighst the importance of Forced Labor in the Polish culture of memory. The interview was conducted in English.

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Ralph Giordano

The examination of National Socalism in Germany then and now (in German)

Ralph Giordano - Holocaust survivor, documentary filmmaker and author of 23 books - is one of the most prominent contemporary witnesses in Germany. In the interview, he speaks about his decision to stay in the Federal Rebublic after the liberation, and explifies his motivation for the journalistic work. Besides, Ralph Giordano adresses today's partly worrying developments in Germany. The interview is being held in German.

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Constantin Goschler

Patterns of remembrance - Coping with Nazi forced labor since 1945 (in German)

Prof. Constantin Goschler is a contemporary historian at Ruhr University Bochum. He talks about the social, political and economic developments, that led to the establishment of the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future". This foundation organized and controlled the financial compensation scheme for former forced laborers.

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Franziska Henningsen

Dr. Franziska Henningsen: Extreme trauma and remembrance – A psychoanalytical perspective of life story interviews with survivors of National Socialism (in German)

Dr. Franziska Henningsen is a psychoanalyst in private practice and also teaches at the Berlin Psychoanalysis Institute (Karl-Abraham-Institut). Her research has focused on psychic trauma. In the interview she speaks about the consequences of traumas and their influence on life story interviews with survivors of National Socialism.

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Ulrike Jureit

Patterns of remembrance – Methods and interpretation of oral history interviews (in German)

Ulrike Jureit is a historian at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. She has been studying methodological aspects of life story interviews with concentration camp survivors for many years now. In this interview, she explains concepts like patterns of remembrance and layering of experiences. She talks about the methodological analysis of oral history interviews as well as their evaluation in research.

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Alexander von Plato (1)

The project "Documentation of biographical interviews with former slave and forced laborers" (Part 1, in German)

Dr. Alexander von Plato, a historian and longstanding director of the Institute for History and Biography at the FernUniversität in Hagen – University of Hagen, was one of the three coordinators of the project: "Documentation of biographical interviews with former slave and forced laborers". He coordinated the methodology and developed the interview guidelines. In the first part of the interview (The project: "Documentation of biographical interviews with former slave and forced laborers") he spea

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Alexander von Plato (2)

The oral history project and its results in an international context (Part 2, in German)

In the second part of the interview (The oral history project and its results in an international context) he comments on the international dimension of the interviews and their significance for science and education.

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Jan Rietema

The technical implementation of the online archive Forced Labor 1939 - 1945 (in German)

Jan Rietema, software designer and programmer, was responsible for the conception and development of the online archive Forced Labor 1939 - 1945. In the interview he tells about the various worksteps and the online platform in its current form. He also explains which experiences are of relevance for providing other collections and where the archive is situated within the field of digital humanities.

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Günter Saathoff

The origins and work of the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (in German)

The law scholar Günter Saathoff is the Director of the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future". In this interview he talks about the origins and objectives of the Foundation. He explains the disbursement program for former forced laborers and tells about the educational projects sponsored by the “Remembrance and Future” Fund.

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Christian Schoelzel

Interviews with victims of National Socialism in Croatia (in German)

Dr. Christian Schölzel is the owner of the history communication company Culture and more and an expert in German (South)-Eastern European history. He spoke with victims of National Socialism in Croatia for the interview collection of the online archive "Forced Labor 1939-1945" (Subset: "Croatia – CM Munich"). He talks about his experience of the interview process and about history and memory in the former Yugoslavia.


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Natalia Timofeeva (in German)

Interviews with former "Ostarbeiter" in Russia

Dr. Natalia Timofeeva is the head of the Regional Center for Oral History in Voronezh, South Russia, and publishes about German-Soviet relationships and Oral History. For the online archive "Forced Labor 1939-1945" she spoke with former female "Ostarbeiter" in Russia (Subset: "Russia - Regional Center Voronezh). She talks about the "energetic cooperation" with the witnesses during the creation of the interviews.

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Barbara Wiesinger (in German)

The remembrance of Forced Labor in the former Yugoslavia - the subset Serbia

Barbara Wiesinger is an editor at E. DORNER/ westermann wien and is considered an expert for the contemporary history of ex-Yugoslavia. For the online archive "Forced Labor 1939-1945" she spoke with former forced labor workers in Serbia (subset Serbia). She talks about her experiences during the project and the culture of remembrance in the former Yugoslavia.

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Podiumsgespräch (in German)

Accompanying the exhibition "Forced Labor. The Germans, the Forced Laborers and the War" the Foundation EVZ and the Jewish Museum organized a panel discussion "Zwangsarbeit in Europa - Zwangsarbeit in Berlin" on October 4th, 2010.

The panel participants included the historians Dr. Christine Glauning (Documentation Center of Nazi Forced Labor in Berlin Schöneweide), Dr. Cord Pagenstecher (Berlin History Workshop / Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr. Jens-Christian Wagner (Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation), moderation Dr. Manfred Sapper (German Association for East European Studies). You can listen to the audio-taping here.

Members of the project team have been conducting expert interviews since 2009. Some of the interviews span the course of many hours. These have been compiled as short half-hour films. Those films with ca. 10 interview questions each can be accessed directly. Interviews are available with the following experts: