13 Oct 2022

Irina Scherbakowa receives the Marion Dönhoff Prize 2022

This year’s Marion Dönhoff Prize for International Communication and Reconciliation is awarded to Irina Scherbakowa, scholar of Germany philology and historian and honorary member of the ZfL since 2010.

Since 2003, the Marion Dönhoff Prize is being awarded yearly by the magazine Zeit, the Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, and the Marion Dönhoff Foundation. The main prize honors individuals who advocate for the communication and reconciliation between peoples. In this year’s statement, the jury substantiates their decision as follows: “We award the prize to Irina Scherbakowa to honor her outstanding contribution to the historical self-education of her country and her courageous struggle for human rights.”

Since the 1970s, Irina Scherbakowa conducts research into oral history, totalitarianism, Soviet labor camps, issues of cultural memory in Russia, and the politics of remembrance. She is a co-founder of the International Historical Educational Charitable and Human Rights Society Memorial which was liquidated by the Russian state in early 2022 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize later that year.

Following her years of work for journals such as Sowjetliteratur, Literaturnaya gazeta, and Nezavisimaya gazeta, Irina Scherbakowa was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. From 1996 to 2006, she taught at the Center for Oral History at the Russian State University for Humanities in Moscow.

The official award ceremony will be held on December 4, 2022 at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. The laudation speech will be held by Olaf Scholz.

Photos: Irina Scherbakowa at the event Memorial und die Chancen der russischen Zivilgesellschaft [Memorial and the chances of the Russian civil society] on Junge 24 2015 at the ZfL, © Matthias Stief.