A world-famous monument is the field of stelae of the Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, erected in 2005 next to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. At the ravine "Babyn Jar" in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, a memorial commemorates the "Holocaust by bullets". In the Belarusian Khatyn there is a memorial for the civilian victims of the German occupation and the "burnt villages". In the Russian city of Pskov, a memorial is built on the site of the prisoner of war camp Stalag 372, in which Red Army soldiers died. Throughout Europe, concentration camp memorials commemorate, among others, politically persecuted people, Sinti, Roma, as well as so-called "professional criminals" and "asocials".
This incomplete list shows the diversity of the victim groups of National Socialism, to whom in the project countries are dedicated places of remembrance.
…that's all there is to it, isn't it?
By forgotten victims of National Socialism we mean those victims who, in today's consciousness and public perception, play only a subordinate role or no role at all. The aim of our platform "Terra Oblitia - Open Memory Map" is to list the places of remembrance of forgotten Nazi victims on a map and to present them together with the local actors.
In order to approach this goal, we needed a common understanding of what forgotten Nazi victims are for us and had to agree on a framework for the platform. To this end, we visited various places of remembrance in Bremen, Rostov and Dnipro, exchanged ideas with local actors and dealt with the culture of remembrance. In addition, we discussed what possible criteria were for Nazi victims to be forgotten in public and which groups were affected. Decisive criteria are, in our opinion, the following:
1. Whether there are memorials, monuments, cemeteries or other places of remembrance
2. Whether there are organisations, initiatives or other interest groups that work for survivors or do remembrance work
3. Whether and to what extent research and documentation on the groups is taking place or has taken place
4. Whether the groups of state, especially German, side are recognized as Nazi victims and are entitled to compensation payments or other similar benefits from the German state.
The criteria developed by us do not claim to be exhaustive, but are to be understood as a basis for analyses, discussions or decisions. Individual criteria can also be fulfilled, but a group can still belong to the forgotten victims.
Due to the composition of our project countries, we want to focus on the forgotten victims of the German "war of extermination in the East" and the German "Lebensraumpolitik". In order to simplify the use of the map, you can filter the map according to the following categories of forgotten victims:
Soviet prisoners of war
civilian population in the occupied territories
Jewish population in the occupied territories
patients of psychiatric institutions
It should be noted that not all groups are forgotten victims in all project countries. What was decisive for us was that they were forgotten victim groups in at least one project country, according to our analysis.
If necessary, a place of remembrance can be assigned to several categories. We are aware that different victims (groups) are grouped together in the category "Other", thus blurring any group-specific differences. For reasons of clarity, however, we have agreed on a limited number of categories.