Soviet prisoners of war in the German concentration camp system
- Start date: 23.11.2020
- End date: 23.11.2020
- RU: Советские военнопленные в системе концлагерей Германии
- Status: Completed
The presentation of the Russian-language edition of the book by German historians Reinhard Otto and Rolf Keller under this title was held on the day of the 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg trials at the site of the Russian Historical Society.
The event was attended by Andrey Fursenko, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation, Co-Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Sochi Dialogue Forum, Anatoly Torkunov, Co-Chairman of the Russian Historical Society, Rector of MGIMO University, and Ilya Vasiliev, Chairman of the Board of the Alexander Pechersky Memorial Foundation. The moderator was Konstantin Mogilevsky, Chairman of the Board of the Russian Historical Society, Executive Director of the History of the Fatherland Foundation. Via video link the event was attended by the authors of the book, the co-chairs of the Russian-Austrian Commission of Historians Stefan Karner and Alexander Chubaryan , co-chairman of the Russian Historical Society, academician of RAS, Scientific Director of the Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky; the representative of the Memorial of Mauthausen Gregor Holzinger; Director of the Russian State Military Archive Vladimir Tarasov, as well as historians and students of Russian universities.
The Russian-language edition of the book "Soviet Prisoners of War in the German concentration camp system" was published on September 15, 2020. The study of German historians is devoted to one of the tragic events of the Second World War. The book is the result of more than 30-year meticulous work of the authors. Relying on various sources, revealing the functions of individual concentration camps, the authors demonstrate the work of the Nazi extermination system, as well as focus on the people’s lives who experienced it.
The presentation of the book in German took place at the end of 2019.
"This book is very tough. It is hard to read even today, 75 years after the start of the Nuremberg trials”,
- said the Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation, co-chairman of the coordinating committee of the Forum "Sochi Dialogue" Andrey Fursenko.
"But this book is also very touching»,
he added, noting that the publication shows the pain of the authors for the events of the war.
"It is symbolic that the presentation takes place on the day of the 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg trials. The practice of treating prisoners of war, in particular Soviet prisoners of war, violated all the laws of warfare, and became one of the subjects of the Nuremberg Tribunal”,
- said the Chairman of the Board of the Russian Historical Society, Executive Director of the foundation "History of the Fatherland" Konstantin Mogilevsky.
According to him the Electronic Library of Historical Documents also contains documents related to the Nuremberg trials. Contextual search for them simplifies the work of researchers.
The preparation of the Russian-language edition would not have been possible without the personal initiative of Dmitry Lubinsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Austria.
"It is gratifying that the book was published in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the end of the Second World War”,
- he said.
According to the ambassador, "the published book should become a visible reminder of the historical truth of the events of the Second World War, no matter how terrible it may be, first of all for a number of well-known European countries, where we are watching the rehabilitation of Nazism with great concern."
On the scientific value of the book commented the co-chairman of the Russian Historical Society, academician of RAS, Scientific Director of the Institute of World History RAS Alexander Chubaryan. He noted the great contribution to such a direction of historical science as the history of everyday life.
"Now it is at the forefront of world historiography”,
- he emphasized.
In addition, the book is also important for another direction – the problem of a single person in history: "the publication shows not just an array of documents related to all prisoners of war taken together, but it gives individual portraits," said Alexander Chubaryan.
“The book also influenced new approaches to the topic of historical memory”,
"After reading this book, I think that the authors are not only brilliant scientists, but also very courageous people. Because in order to write such a book and deal with this issue, you need to understand that the publication is very necessary for hundreds of thousands of people whose relatives have passed through this terrible ordeal and who want to know the truth”,
- Anatoly Torkunov, co-chairman of the Russian Historical Society, Rector of MGIMO University, shared his impressions of the book.
The author of the book, Rolf Keller, noted the importance of working with documents from Russian archives in the preparation of the book. He said that many questions remained open, and the details were not clarified, and therefore the study would continue. Rolf Keller invited Russian specialists, as well as scientists from the countries of the former USSR, to cooperate.
Another author of the book, Otto Reinhard, noted that this topic was rarely chosen by scientists for research.
The study of the problem of military captivity needs further development, says Vladimir Tarasov, director of the Russian State Military Archive. In the USSR, for many years, this topic did not receive the coverage that should have been done.
"We are indebted to many Soviet prisoners of war, whose names are still unknown. And only in the last 30 years, with the opening of archives, with the elimination of ideological barriers, there was a real opportunity to study the sources”,
– he said.
In turn, Alexander Bezborodov, a member of the Council of the Russian Historical Society, Rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities, believes that the problem of military captivity in the XX century is a global problem of our time. And in this regard, he drew attention to the main humanitarian mission of the German and Russian archives.
Ilya Vasiliev, Chairman of the Board of the Alexander Pechersky Memorial Foundation, expressed the hope that the book would be an important step in establishing the idea of Soviet prisoners of war as the second most affected category of victims after European Jews: according to the latest data, at least three million people died as Soviet prisoners of war.
"Unfortunately, today they are on the periphery of public interest and consciousness in European countries. I hope that the book will help to change this situation»,
- he concluded.
In German, the book was met with great interest in Germany and Austria, said Sandra Dahlke, director of the German Institute in Moscow.
"The book clearly shows that such a comprehensive study of the issue is possible only within the framework of international cooperation”,
- she thinks.
The book is published for historians and anyone interested in this topic, as well as those whose loved ones have experienced all the horrors of captivity or died in the dungeons of concentration camps, long considered "missing".
Most of the circulation was donated to the city libraries and higher educational institutions. The book is available for review on the website of the Civil Society Forum "Sochi Dialogue" in electronic form. (https://yadi.sk/i/C5094nM3v9LtJw)
The publication was carried out with the financial support of the Russian-Austrian Civil Society Forum "Sochi Dialogue".