Nina Janz is a Harry & Helen Gray/AICGS Reconciliation Fellow from August 1 to September 15, 2016. While at AICGS, she will investigate the historical dialogue and the peacemaking process between Germany and Russia seventy years after World War II. Under the slogan “Reconciliation over the Graves” the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.) still tries to exhume and bury soldier’s remains, builds war cemeteries and commemorates the war dead. Based on a case study, a German war cemetery in Sologubovka (St. Petersburg), she will examine the approach between the former enemies, between the defeated and the victors. Despite the invincible gap between two national memory narratives, the German war cemetery should symbolize reconciliation and understanding towards the Russians. At AICGS Nina Janz investigates the efforts and the process of reconciliation “over the graves” of the war dead in Germany and Russia today.
Nina Janz is a PhD candidate at the institute of cultural anthropology at University of Hamburg, focusing on culture historical case studies on soldiers’ death and the hero cult during World War II. She worked for the German War Graves Commission in Berlin and participates in the international youth work for German and Eastern European teenagers in history and memory projects on topics like World War II and the Holocaust.