"Terra Oblita – Open Memory Map" is an international platform created to bring back the memory of National Socialism’s victims, that have little or no place in public memory. The platform was created to encourage recovery of the local memory of the Second World War’s victims: to search and share information about little-known sites of memory, as well as to create memorial practices. We believe, the history of National Socialism’s victims can never be written to the end. But each one of these histories has the right to be told, regardless of the existing memory cultures. Meantime, filling the gaps in our common history will contribute to mutual understanding.
The "forgotten" victims are different groups of people affected by the National Socialist regime but underrepresented in the history of a country or people. For example, the memory of Soviet prisoners of war is almost non-existent in public space, despite the huge scale of captivity of Red Army soldiers at the beginning of the war and the mass mortality rate in German camps. They are usually not mentioned at memorable events dedicated to the war both in Germany and in the former USSR territories. They hardly appear in fiction and scientific literature, or in public discussions. The lack of attention to them in the public domain complicates the memory practices in each personal history, makes difficult the support of family and local memory, as well as narratives. As a result, the other "forgotten" victims get obscured by the groups and topics remembered at the public level.
The platform is an interactive map and any visitor can offer his or her own memory space. It can be a little-known memorial or a place reminding the forced labor use, testifying to the executions, burials. We will check your text and make it available to other visitors for viewing and making new suggestions as soon as possible.
We hope that Terra Oblita provides an opportunity for the victims’ relatives of National Socialism crimes to find sites of memory and share their knowledge of hidden memorial locations. We welcome any contribution to filling the gaps in this part of the war history and are ready to engage with different audiences. On the one hand, the platform should become a collection of valuable sources for the professional study of memorial practices in Germany and the former Soviet Union. On the other hand, it can be used as a resource for school teachers willing to share the history of the victims of National Socialism and to elaborate on the differences between memory cultures with their students.
The platform was created as part of the “Memory – Wiki - In the footsteps of the memory of the “forgotten” victims of National Socialism in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Germany,” organized by the Berlin public association “KONTAKTE-KOHTAKTbI”.
The idea and the content of the website were developed by the students of history at four universities: Bremen University, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Southern Federal University in Rostov-on-Don and the National Research University "Higher School of Economics", Moscow.
The project was carried out by the association "KONTAKTE-KOHTAKTbI" with the support of the foundations “Erinnerung Lindau” and “Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft”, as well as the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.