History of the Shoah and Politics of History in Post-Communist Lithuania


History has become a deeply contentious topic in the post-communist space, particularly with regard to World War II, Communism, and Nationalism. Memories are not static, and our increasing historical knowledge is embedded within a dynamic contemporary context. This means that both history and the politics of history are developing and changing. Christoph Dieckmann, one of the leading historians of the German occupation in Lithuania, shared his experiences and impressions of the politics of history in Eastern Europe from the perspective of a German historian.

Christoph Dieckmann is a historian and taught Modern European History from 2005 until 2014 at Keele University in the United Kingdom. Since 2000, he has also been a member of the Presidential International Commission for the Evaluation of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania. Until 2017, he conducted a research project called Yiddish Historiography on the Russian Civil War at the Fritz-Bauer-Institut in Frankfurt am Main. Presently, Dieckmann works at the University of Bern on a project focused on sound-history called Sounds of Anti-Jewish Persecution. His study Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen 1941-1944 (German Occupation Policy in Lithuania 1941-1944) was published in 2011 and was awarded the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research in 2012.

Viktoras Bachmetjevas, Associate Professor at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania and current IWM Visiting Fellow, provided the comment to the presentation.

The evening was moderated by Marci Shore, Associate Professor of Intellectual History at Yale University and IWM Visiting Fellow.