Between Conflict and Solidarity

Famine Legacies in Ukraine, Russia and the Netherlands
2020 until 2025
Project member(s)
Zwarte, I.J.J. de (Ingrid)
Project type

European famine legacies continue to divide communities and to impact political debates, particularly in those cases where the famine conditions resulted from war, enemy occupation, or oppression. Yet while these famine legacies still operate in contexts that reinforce tensions, they also offer a solid foundation for mutual understanding, and expressions of responsibility, solidarity, reconciliation and reparation. Indeed, European famines share similar experiences of suffering and historically evoked transeuropean solidarity, especially in the form of philanthropic relief from transnational agencies.

This project is conducted by Dr Ingrid de Zwarte and analyses discourses of victim/perpetrator and solidarity in three heritage traditions centred on conflict between two nations: 1) Ukraine and Russia (Ukrainian famine of 1932–1933); 2) Russia and Germany (Leningrad blockade of 1941–1944); and 3) the Netherlands and Germany (Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944–1945). The project focuses on curricula, commemorations and museum exhibitions, while integrating local, national and transnational perspectives.

This research project is one of seven subprojects of Heritages of Hunger


Grant provided by NWO NWA.


The project is supported by a board of hunger experts and partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Ireland, UK, Ukraine, Russian & Canada. These are: Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam; Museum Rotterdam; Red Star Line Museum, Antwerpen; EUROCLIO; Irish Heritage Trust, Dublin; Nerve Centre Derry; Kuopio Cultural History Museum; Werstas Labour Museum; Universiteit van Granada; Centro Documental de la Memoria Historica, Salamanca; Nederlands Instituut in Sint-Petersburg; Holodomor Research and Education Centre, Kiev; Ireland Park Foundation, Toronto; Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, Toronto.