Remembrance, Research and Justice: Heritage of WWII in the 21st Century is a multidisciplinary international program which, for several years, has been studying present-day World War II remembrance practices, both national and supranational.
World War II was the last severe global conflict to make all its participants bear the heaviest brunt of its consequences: severe, destructive, sometimes disastrous. It was a conflict that shaped the modern political map and helped build the system of geopolitical, diplomatic and legal relations the whole world is still relying on today.
One of the central academic issues for the RRJ project is the public use of historical knowledge both in state-level policy – domestic and foreign – and in public space (mass media, social media, etc.). This is where historical studies meet remembrance issues. Such a cross may have either positive or negative consequences. According to the concept of ‘a just allotment of memory’ by Paul Ricœur, manipulations in this field may cause suppression tendencies and, consequently, attempts to build a less inclusive society that tends to reject elements it finds ‘foreign’, provoking the escalation of tension and other kinds of violent behavior. This naturally gives rise to another major area of research for the RRJ project which is historical revisionism, understood as an extra-scientific attempt to revise historical facts or positions. Perhaps a more correct term in this context could be ‘negationism’, a notion introduced by historian Henri Rousseau, describing the way of thinking and ideology of the revisionists that does not care a lot about whether the presented evidence or arguments are sufficient and true, or even tends to ignore them.
The RRJ project is also aimed at building a miscellaneous data base to be used by experts and enthusiasts who study modern WWII remembrance practices. This website is going to publish articles and news on the above-mentioned topic. While accumulating the relevant material, the editorial staff of the project will issue reports and scientific papers, as well as geographical, personalized and topical indexes. Here you will also find regular updates of news on the topic. From the standpoint of geography, the territorial coverage of our research is only limited to possibilities of the project’s contributors.
Remembrance, Research and Justice: Heritage of WWII in the 21st century was launched in April of 2020 by a group of non-governmental organizations. At the stage of launch, the project received support from the following organizations:
- the Russian Society of Historians and Archivists;
- The Battlefield Archeology Movement of Russia, the all-Russian non-governmental movement in commemoration of those who fell defending their Motherland;
- Union-State Initiative of Remembrance and Concord, the Russo-Belorussian Association of Historians;
- Foundation for the Support and Development of Jewish Culture;
- Historical Memory, the Foundation for Contemporary Historical Research.
The RRJ project, based at the History and Archives Institute of the Russian State University for the Humanities, brings together university staff, people from education and research centers and archives, as well as members of non-commercial and non-governmental organizations.