Musealization of Memory

Permanent Display of the Warsaw Rising Museum/Warsaw

The Second World War and Nazi-occupation in Museums, Memorial Sites, and Monuments in Eastern Europe

Project period: October 2008 – September 2012
Project director: Prof. Dr Martin Schulze Wessel, Collegium Carolinum

Funding: Volkswagen Foundation (Funding initiative: Unity amidst Variety? Intellectual Foundations and Requirements for an Enlarged Europe)

Project directors and cooperation partners

The debates following the 60th anniversary of the war’s end in 1945 made it clear that in many states of Europe the Second World War and the years immediately following still form a central point of focus of the collective memory and of the national policies of history. Many of these debates focused on museums, historical exhibitions and memorials. Particularly in the post-communist states of Eastern Europe, the desire to adapt the presentations in museums of the war experience and the post war years to the changed political conditions led to several new history museums being founded. More...

Research projects

  • Monika Heinemann (project coordinator)
    War and remembering war in the museum. The Second World War in Polish exhibitions since the1980s.
  • Ekaterina Keding
    The Musealization of the German Occupation in the New Nation State: The Republic of Belarus.
  • Petr Koura
    Monuments, Memorials and the Culture of Remembrance Concerning World War II in the Czech Republic since 1945.
  • Hannah Maischein
    Visual Memory of the Shoah in Poland (since 1945).
  • Piotr M. Majewski
    Remembrance on the Sites of Terror: Concentration Camp Memorials in Central Eastern Europe.
  • Ekaterina Makhotina
    The Memory of the Second World War in Museums, Memorial Sites and Monuments in Lithuania after 1989.

Conference 2011

Between History und Politics: The Second World War in Museums and Memorial Sites in Western and Eastern Europe


Munich, 29 June – 1 July 2011
Call for Papers; English Version
Flyer, Poster

Conference 2009

Media between Fiction-making and Claims to Reality – Constructions of Historical Memory


Munich, 3 – 5 September 2009
Call for Papers