Post Bellum is proud to be a part of an international network of partner organizations, and is actively working on the development and growth of such a network. We bring together documentarists, historians, journalists, and teachers to preserve memories, develop critical thinking, and support the values at the core of our society. There are stories waiting to be recorded in every corner of the Globe.
Thanks to our regional branches around the Czech Republic, we cooperate with our closest neighbors (Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Austria). This helps people come to terms with their history and fill in the trenches opened up by historical grievances.
Our international collection at Memory of Nations is one of the broadest open databases of witness testimonies and contains hundreds of recordings of foreign witnesses, alongside thousands of Czech witnesses translated into English. We cooperate with documentarists from three continents, and our mobile studio heads out to record abroad, both near and far. With our studio or in cooperation with local documentarists, we record testimonies in Cuba, Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, Poland, Austria, Israel, USA, and many other countries. We do not limit the testimonies only to the 20th century, but continue to document ongoing totalitarian atrocities, wars and human rights violations.
Human rights projects
An important part of our activities is composed of human rights projects. We support documentarists from Belarus, Cuba, and Myanmar and help to process and distribute their recordings of dissidents and political prisoners to foster democratization and civil society in general.
The key element for successful international cooperation and the realization of projects is a stable work-partner. Therefore, we launched Post Bellum / Memory of Nations branches not only in the Czech Republic and its border areas, but also fully abroad.
In 2011, our sister organization, Post Bellum SK, was founded in Slovakia, to fulfill and spread the Memory of Nations legacy throughout the Slovak nation from a local point of view.
In 2020, a second sister organization abroad, Post Bellum Ukraine, was established in Lviv, after many years of preparations in cooperation with the Territory of Terror NGO and its director Khrystyna Rutar. At the very beginning the main aim was to help the Ukrainian public and youth to understand historical issues and topics, because insufficient or inappropriate awareness of these may lead to an increasing number of extremist attitudes or serve as a tool for disinformation campaigns, or even wars, as we have been witnessing since the beginning of the Russian occupation of Ukraine in February 2022.
Until the outbreak of war in February 2022, our colleagues in Ukraine recorded dozens of stories mainly by dissidents and political prisoners recounting the times of Stalinist repressions.
It is precisely the outbreak of the war in February 2022 that shows how important international bonds are in order to be able to react quickly and adequately. Currently, we are helping Ukraine to defend itself. And the documentation of the war atrocities of the 21st century will be the very next step.
Our work includes continuous support to our cooperators and witnesses worldwide. With the outbreak of the covid pandemic in 2020, we immediately established the Memory of Nations Help Center to attend to the needs of “our” Czech witnesses. In 2022, the need to attend to a critical issue came to the surface again, this time with the war in Ukraine.
Right before the Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Post Bellum was asked by our colleagues in Lviv, to support the Come Back Alive foundation, which helps to provide the defenders of Ukrainian borders with defense supplies . Therefore, Post Bellum launched a crowdfunding campaign, and collected more than 10.5 million EUR from more than 25,000 people.
The Post Bellum and Memory of Nations team of volunteers worked day and night to manage the logistics of getting the most needed equipment to Ukraine – medical supplies , protective vests, helmets, gloves, sleeping bags, tents, two-way radios, batteries, drones, thermal vision equipment and food. Thanks to our Ukrainian partners we know, which resources, where and in what amount are needed.
Educating, Publishing and Narrating
Our international projects come with a natural educational outcome, which is palpable in our projects’ publications, both printed and online, on which we cooperate with schools and educational institutions. We search internationally for crucial topics and events of our common history. We aim to make forgotten life experiences public in the form of exhibitions, comic books, media outputs, etc.
Hereby, we provide you with a list of selected publications based on the Memory of Nations testimonies. Besides the following selection of books available in foreign languages, there are dozens of other publications created by Post Bellum during the past two decades of its activities.
The comic book We’re Still at War, published in 2018 in English (upon its Czech original), presents 13 stories depicting different historical phenomena of the 20th century through the stories of 13 witnesses, created by 13 comic artists. It was awarded the Muriel prize for the best comic book and the best comic story. It is frequently used when teaching about modern history.
“Foreign students, for whom Nazism and Communism might seem like something from a distant galaxy, can see that these despotic systems not long ago dominated large parts of Europe, causing immense misery and hardship. By basing the comic book on individuals’ personal stories, the compilers help students understand the wrenching dilemmas and choices that ordinary people had to face so often when living under Nazism and Communism.”
—Mark Kramer, Harvard University
The history of the Belarussian protests from 2006 to 2021 is depicted in the book Belarus lives! Belarus fights!, published in 2021 in a unique triple-language version (Belarussian, Czech and English). It is dedicated to all the Belarussian heroes who stood up against falsification, violence and lies.
For 63 years, Cuba has been living under totalitarian communist rule.63 stories of witnesses from different generations (born from 1930 to 1989) represent the changes experienced by the Cuban opposition, and at the same time speak out about the continuous repressions, poverty and lack of any kind of bright future for Cuba. The electronic book #LIBERTAD. Cuba between its Past and its Future, was published in 2021 in the Spanish original and in an English translation. It is free to download.
“The book #LIBERTAD is like a well-placed bomb into the very withered heart of the Cuban dictatorship.”
—A. M. T., Cuban human rights activist
The comic book entitled Forced Labor was published in Russian translation in 2017, and received the Muriel prize for the best comic book. Three stories based on real memories are depicted in it. Three women who never met, but their lives are somehow connected: all three of them were sent to do forced labor. Three different destinies, three ways of solving dilemmas.
LIST OF OUR RECENT INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS: