In the 20th century forced labour became the hallmark of modern, rational, economical state logic. In authoritarian and totalitarian states like the Third Reich and the Soviet Union forced labour became an instrument of economic policy which cost millions of people their lives.
How is this development treated in different European societies today? What relevance does the removal of these sites have to those who were involved and where they live now, as well as to their descendents and what significance does it have for the remembrance of the injustice that they suffered? Geschichtswerkstatt Europa is particularly engaged with these questions because the Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future was set up in 2000 to make payments to former forced labour camp internees. Central to the Foundation’s work today is the commitment to the victims of Nazism and the exploration of this period.