Dr. Irina Scherbakowa

Honorary member of the ZfL, publicist and translator (Moscow)


Irina Scherbakowa is a germanist and historian. Her research interests include oral history, totalitarianism, Stalinism, the gulag and the Soviet special camps on German land after 1945, questions of cultural memory in Russia, and the politics of remembrance. In the late 1970s, Scherbakowa began recording interviews with victims of Stalinism. In 1991 she began studying the KGB archives. Following her years of work for journals such as Sowjetliteratur, Literaturnaja gaseta, and Nesawissimaja gaseta, she was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin as well as at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. She was a guest professor at the University of Salzburg and a lecturer at the Center for Oral History at the Russian State University for Humanities in Moscow from 1996 to 2006.

Up until it was definitively banned in February 2022, Scherbakowa worked for the International Historical-Enlightenment Human Rights and Humanitarian Society MEMORIAL (Moscow). She also managed the Russia-wide student competition »Man in History. Russia in the 20th Century« since 1999. Scherbakowa is a member of the Buchenwald Memorial board of trustees in Weimar, and the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace. She is also a member of the executive committee at the Marion Dönhoff Foundation. In 1994 she won the German Catholic Journalism Prize In 2005 she was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit and in 2014 the Carl von Ossietzky Prize. Scherbakowa has been an Honorary Member of the ZfL since 2010.


Monographs (Selection)

Edited volumes and special issues (Selection)

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Photo © Matthias Stief