The Remembered Communities project was jointly organised by the history department at Hanover University (Professor Claus Füllberg-Stollberg) and the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation (Dr Habbo Knoch). The Lower Saxony Ministry for Research and Culture allocated funds of 200,000 euros to the project for the period from 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2011. These funds came from the ministry’s PRO Niedersachsen programme.

The project was made up of three individual studies: 

  • Study #1:

    Study #1:

    Project (PDF, German)

    Jewish POWs from France and their families during and after the Shoah: captivity, deportation to Bergen-Belsen and public memory in France. (Researcher: Janine Doerry)

    Première recherche:

    "Des familles de prisonniers de guerre juifs de France dans la Shoah. Captivité de guerre, déportation à Bergen-Belsen et mémoire en France."

  • Study #2:

    Study #2:

    Project (PDF, German)

    Evacuation transports from Bergen-Belsen in April 1945: Forced community formation and its significance for life after liberation. (Researcher: Thomas Kubetzky)

  • Study #3:

    Study #3:

    Project (PDF, German)

    Group formation, demographic development and social differences in the Bergen-Belsen Polish and Jewish DP camps, 1945–1950. (Researcher: Katja Seybold)


The individual subprojects examined the transitional phase in the lives of Bergen-Belseen survivors between the dissolution of the world of the camp and the first steps towards new lives after the liberation. Of particular interest to the researchers have been the role that the survivors’ experiences in the camps and during their persecution played in these new beginnings, and the question of how the transitional phase between imprisonment and liberation affected their new lives and were reflected in their memory.



These questions were examined with a particular focus on the forced or accidental formation of communities and the role these communities played for prisoners’ survival, both before and after the liberation and particularly in relation to their life trajectories after 1945.