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Statement on the war in Ukraine




We, the members of the international academic Network Displaced Persons Research, strongly condemn the invasion of Ukraine initiated by the Russian president Putin. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, especially with our Ukrainian colleagues and their families, who are suffering from this war. We are not only witnessing a war of aggression in Europe that needs to be stopped immediately, but also a refugee movement of hundreds of thousands of people from Ukraine towards the West.

Wether history repeats itself is disputed among historians, but we should - and are obliged to - learn from it. As scholars researching the devastating consequences of the Second World War and the fate of millions of displaced persons and refugees in liberated post-war Europe, we cannot ignore the historical parallels. In fact, these parallels urgently illustrate the necessity to establish help for the Ukrainian refugees.

Refugees need fast and unbureaucratic help: Those who must leave their homeland and their own homes in a hurry, depend on support abroad. We are currently observing intensive aid efforts in many European countries for Ukrainian refugees. At present, these efforts are still undertaken primarily by private individuals and professional aid organizations. History shows us that state actors must intervene as quickly as possible in order to provide refugees with short- and medium-term prospects. This includes immediately granting refugees employment and residence titles and unbureaucratically providing them the means and support to also help themselves.

In addition to the hundreds of thousands who have already fled to neighbouring countries, millions more are fleeing within Ukraine or are forced to remain in war zones. They need urgent support and emergency assistance. 

Finally, we also call on the international scienitfic community to do everything in its power to support Ukrainian refugees and stop Putin´s war of aggression against Ukraine. 


Members of the Network Displaced Persons Research and supporters (in alphabetical order):

Prof. Dr. Dittmar Dahlmann / Stella Maria Frei / Sarah Grandke / Dr. Nikolaus Hagen / Dr. Christian Höschler, Arolsen Archives / Dr. Aivar Jürgenson / Dr. Uta Larkey / Dr. Jochen Lingelbach / Dr. Markus Nesselrodt / Katja Seybold / Dr. Philipp Strobl / Jim G. Tobias, Nuremberg Institute for Holocaust Studies / Dr. Susanne Urban, Marburg / Marcus Velke-Schmidt / Christine Weber