World War II Documents from the State Archive of Kiev Oblast

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Overview

According to Nazi German ideology Ukrainians were classified as Untermensch (sub-humans) and their land, the "Breadbasket of Europe," was considered Lebensraum - arable lands that Hitler sought to colonize through the liquidation and enslavement of the local Ukrainian population. On December 16, 1942 Hitler ordered the German Army to obliterate Ukrainian "guerillas," including women and children. The three collections that comprise World War II Documents from the State Archive of Kiev Oblast document various aspects of the German occupation of the Ukraine during World War II.

Part 1: Postcards Home: Postcards of Ukrainian Forced Labor Workers from Nazi Germany

In spring 1942, Germany began to draft occupied populations as forced laborers. In total there were 20,000 forced labor camps spread across the Reich. The marketplaces for the sale of forced laborers (arbeitsamt) were set up in Germany, where workers from eastern countries were sold legally to the businessmen and farmers.

Part 2: From Bolshevizm to the New Order: Museum-Archive of the Transitional Period in Kiev, 1942

The Museum-Archive of the Transition Period (MATP) had been established in Kiev under German occupation on March 26th, 1942. Its aim was "to collect and process materials illustrating the period of transition from Bolshevism to the introduction of New Order in Europe and Ukraine in particular."

Part 3: The Long Road Home: Documents of Ukrainian Forced Labor Workers Detained in Soviet Filtration Camps in Germany

The spring of 1945 brought long-awaited victory and freedom for Ostarbeiters as the Soviet Army and Western allies stormed into Germany. After the Soviet government had decided to return Soviet citizens from Germany, a number of organizational measures were taken.