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“Living History”: memory connects generations


Since 2009 activists and volunteers of “Totem” Center collected documental materials – interview and photos of old people from Kherson. We met victims of World War II, prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, ostarbaiters, victims of the Stalin’s repressions; organized meetings of young and old people, discussions, and excursions. We wanted to hear and collect living, personal, emotional stories and flashbacks of witnesses of our history. Also we established free weekly cinema club «Films-trophies» where young and old people together watched films which were brought to Kherson by soldiers after the World War II. Old people have warm memories about these films, and for young people these meetings were very cognitive – they have possibility not only to watch old film but also to know more about lives of their grandfathers and grandmothers.  



All collected material “Totem” published in two almanacs «Living history».















Interview with women-ostarbaiters gave materials for documentary theatre play «Swing»; interviews with men – for the play «I remember time when Lenin died». 


On the base of collected stories Kherson film directors created short films with the help of volunteers and professional actors (which were volunteers too):  

The first issue is about pre-war times and war.


The second issue is about post-war years.


«Without onion»

by Max Afanasyev

«Road, wheel»

film by Andrey Litvinenko 

«Die dumme Frau» («Foolish woman») by Aleksandr Yudin 

«For the apples»

by Ustin Danchuk 

«Bad good act»

by Aleksandr Yudin 

«Man of family»

by Ustin Danchuk  

The project was supported by German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” in the framework of The DIALOGUE FORUM («Meeting point: dialogue» program).


This project is continued constantly; now «Living history» works with the theme of «Tovarishch / Gorch Fock I» ship which is well-remembered by Kherson of senior and old age. Now it links Ukrainian city Kherson and German city Stralsund.

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