Luxemburgische Zeitgeschichte

Why do historians collect new sources? War Experiences in Luxembourg. The Second World War and Today

The military offensive launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February 2022 and the ensuing war on Ukrainian territory have resulted in immense human suffering, a humanitarian tragedy and incalculable material damage. The violation of a country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty – an act in clear breach of the United Nations Charter – has shattered the shared framework of values and principles fostered by multilateralism after the Second World War in the hope of achieving world peace, while leading to an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity for Ukraine and the plight of its people from Western democracies and European and international organisations, including NATO, the UN, the European Union and the Council of Europe, and their Member States and private initiatives. As contemporary history is turned on its head, historians, driven by the duty of memory, are stepping up to explain the origins of the conflict, identify the various players, provide an objective analysis of the consequences, record the memories of eyewitnesses and victims – with oral history proving a precious tool –, preserve historical sources and, above all, reflect on the role that intellectual effort can play in paving the way for a return to peace in the new world order taking shape before our eyes.

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