Conflicting Legacies of Hunger in Germany

2020 until 2025
Project member(s)
Mourik, A. van (Anne)
Project type

The research project Conflicting Legacies of Hunger in Germany is conducted by Anne van Mourik, MA. It investigates educational mediations of German hunger conditions during and after World War I and World War II in Germany, from 1919 till the present.

During both world wars and in their aftermaths, Germany alternately experienced prosperity and hunger, in combination with a collapse of public health. This research analyses the different and conflicting memories concerning these famine conditions. Drawing on past and present educational materials and practices in primary and secondary education, museums and other heritage institutes, it examines how collective memories of hunger conditions are reimagined across time and space and are rewritten following great socio-political change, such as transitions between different forms of state in Germany (Imperialist, Weimar, Nazi, Socialist, Liberal-democratic).

By exploring how these memories have been taught, the project will examine how these legacies function in relation to constructions of German identity and history. The project also investigates important developments regarding the concepts of victims and perpetrators in representations of famine conditions.

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.