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International Conference „Nations of Central and Eastern Europe towards the Outbreak of the German-Soviet War in the Summer of 1941” – Warsaw, 11 October 2016


The Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Institute of National Remembrance – the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation would like to invite you to the international conference entitled “Nations of Central and Eastern Europe towards the Outbreak of the German-Soviet War in the Summer of 1941” to be held in Warsaw on 11 October 2016.

The Third German Reich's invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 disturbed the political situation in Central and Eastern Europe shaped with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. For many nations living in USSR or under the Soviet occupation – Byelorussians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians, and many more – this war brought both hopes for a better tomorrow, and the anxiety about the deterioration of their situation. For Jews, however, Germany's invasion meant the beginning of mass extermination.


The conference shall focus on tracing various positions of respective nationality groups towards both invaders, and their evolution as an answer to changing war circumstances and the policy of the invaders. Stances and attitudes ranging from the will to cooperate up to active armed resistance. They were also a sign of independence aspirations of some nations. We are also interested in relations between individual ethnic, religious and social groups in the face of the outbreak of the war – including the difficult issue of retaliation on actual and alleged Soviet collaborators and its link with the mass murder of Jews – issues that will require further research. One of the questions that remain valid to this day is the issue of whether this retaliation was spontaneous, or staged by the Germans and to what extent.


This matter is closely related to the much broader issue of repressions and crimes committed by the Soviet and German invaders in the summer of 1941. The causes, course, scale, effects and contemporary repercussions of those crimes shall also pose an important question during the conference.


The topics of the conference shall also include other aspects of problems related to the situation and attitudes of nations of Central and Eastern Europe in the face of beginning of war operations between the Third Reich and USSR in the summer of 1941. Chronologically, the conference will focus on events and occurrences from the summer of 1941, with possible necessary references to older or more recent events.


We have the pleasure to invite everyone who is interested in to take part in the conference. The conference shall be held in Polish and in English (with simultaneous interpreting).


Additional questions: pawel.rokicki@ipn.gov.pl


9.30–9.40       Opening of the conference

9.40–11.30     Session I – Victims of Soviet and German crimes

9.40–10.00     Ihor Derevyanyy, Mass executions of prisoners in Lviv jails in 1941, 22–28 of June, in the light of the Soviet state security documents (National Museum and Memorial “Lonts'koho Street Prison”)    

10.00–10.20    Michał Butkiewicz, Mass executions in Ashmyana as an example of extermination of prisoners by NKVD in a provincial town in the Western Belarus

10.20–10.40    Hubert Kuberski, German concept of the “self-cleansing” actions  (Selbstreinigungsaktionen) – idea, purpose, oblivion and denial (Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences)

10.40–11.00    Prof. of the University of Gdańsk Ph.D. Grzegorz Berendt, SS Cavalry as a tool in the German Nazi strategy of genocide. Polesie, August 1941 (Institute of National Remembrance, Gdańsk)

11.00–11.30   Discussion                           

11.30–11.50   Coffee break

11.50–13.20   Session II – Aspirations for national independence

11.50–12.10   Ph.D. Jerzy Grzybowski, Attitudes of the activists of the Belarusian national movement towards the outset of the war between the III Reich and the Soviet Union in June 1941 (University of Warsaw)

12.10–12.30   Paweł Stefanek, Attitudes of Estonians towards III Reich and USSR (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin)  

12.30–12.50   Ph.D. Marta Havryshko, Women in the OUN expeditionary groups in 1941: specific gendered experience (Ivan Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)

12.50–13.10   Discussion

13.10–14.10   Break

14.10–16.20   Session III – Propaganda and social attitudes

14.10–14.30    Ph.D. Sebastian Piątkowski, Propaganda image of the Soviet Union in the Polish-language German press of the General Government in the first half-year of military operations on the Eastern Front (June – December 1941) (Institute of National Remembrance, Lublin)

14.30–14.50    Ph.D. Marcin Przegiętka, Turn of the year 1941 in the Gestapo accounts of situation in the Ciechanów district (Institute of National Remembrance)

14.50–15.10    Maria Ferenc-Piotrowska, Responses of the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto towards the outset of the German-Soviet War (University of Warsaw)

15.10–15.30    Ph.D. Martyna Rusiniak-Karwat, Jews in Lithuania – responses towards the outset of the German-Soviet War in the light of personal documents (Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences)

15.30–15.50    Karolina Panz, Migration of Jewish refugees, so called “bieżeńcy”, after the outset of the German-Soviet War (University of Warsaw)

15.50–16.20    Discussion

16.20–16.40   Coffee break

16.40–17.50   Session IV – International relations

16.40–17.00   Ph.D. Paweł Rokicki, Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian rivalry over the leadership in the local administrative institutions in the North-East Poland at the wake of the German occupation (Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of National Remembrance)

17.00–17.20   Ph.D. Mykola Genyk, Maria Senycz, Polish-Ukrainian relations at the beginning of the German-Soviet War (Vasyl Stefanyk Subcarpathian National University)

17.20–17.40   Michał Urban, Incidents of the summer 1941 r. in the modern popular memory of the Ukrainians. A context of culture and the politics of memory (Jagiellonian University)

17.40–18.00   Discussion

18.00–18.10   Summary and closing of conference




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