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Interviews with Polish and Russian contemporary witnesses

Polish and Russian deportees had similar experiences of forced labor, but their memories are different. How can this be explained?

In a large-scale interview project in 2005/06, former Nazi forced laborers were interviewed in 26 countries, including 72 in Poland and 56 in Russia. The recordings are accessible on a Free University portal.

Grete Rebstock and Roland Borchers analyzed the Russian and Polish interviews, respectively, in their dissertations. In their recently published books, they have worked out to what extent the memories of contemporary witnesses are shaped by Soviet and Russian and Polish historical politics.

Dr. Christine Glauning
Head of the Nazi Forced Labor Documentation Center

Polish forced laborers:
Roland Borchers
Eastern European historian, research assistant at the Nazi Forced Labor Documentation Center

Soviet forced laborers:
Dr. Grete Rebstock
Eastern European historian

Dr. Cord Pagenstecher
Historian, University Library of the Free University of Berlin, Digital Interview Collections Department
Additional information