Assassins of Memory

Political and legal problems of uncovering,
whitewashing and rewriting history

November 18-19, 2021

Polish Academy of Sciences
Scientific Centre in Vienna

Streaming LIVE 2021:

Part of the Law

and Memory Project

About the conference​

Assassins of memory – political and legal problems of uncovering, whitewashing and rewriting history is part of the Law and Memory project, dealing with topics related to juridification, politics of memory and historical revisionism.

The conference will provide political and legal input to the discussion of politics of history and the broader aspect of memory as an essential part of political strategic planning. The problematic aspects of individual countries’ history and the politicians’ approach to using them in public discussion are part of a particularly heated debate in contemporary Europe, where facts have to face their public reinterpretation. These practices may influence the perception of history both positively (as preserving certain inviolable facts) and negatively (whitening the history, rewriting it, highlighting only selected elements). The issue of the transitional justice will be at the center of the discussion. The conference will result with a post-conference publication.

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“We want ourselves to be seen and to have been seen as we are; and we want just as much to veil ourselves and remain unknown, for behind every determination of our being lies dormant the unspoken possibility of being different.”

― Helmuth Plessner, Grenzen der Gemeinschaft


November 18-19, 2021

Assassins of memory
– political and legal problems of uncovering, whitewashing and rewriting history

4.05 PM – 4:20 PM

Dr. George Soroka

Harvard University

George Soroka is a Lecturer on Government and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University, from where he received his PhD in March 2014. He also holds two prior master’s degrees (in religion and Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, respectively). At present he is working on several long-term research projects, including a book examining how the politics of history are used by the Kremlin to justify its present-day foreign policy stances toward Ukraine, Poland and the European Union.

As a comparativist with a secondary field in international relations, the regional focus of his research is mainly, though not exclusively, on Russia and the post-communist states of Eastern Europe.

His research intrests include:

  • Politics of History and Memory
  • Religion and Politics
  • Democracy and Nationalism
  • Arctic Politics
  • Status-Seeking Behavior in IR
  • Toxic Substance Regulatory Regimes

4.20 PM – 4.35 PM

Klaus Rackwitz

International Nuremberg Principles Academy

Mr Klaus Rackwitz, a German jurist, studied law at the University of Cologne, and upon graduation was appointed as a judge in 1990 where he presided over criminal and civil cases at courts of first instance and at courts of appeal for several years. 

From 1996 until 2002, he worked at and later headed the Division for information technology in the Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia. Mr Rackwitz’s experience in modern technology for courts led to his engagement in the Advance Team of the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002; subsequently from January 2003 until September 2011 he served as the Senior Administrative Manager of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, responsible for all administrative and support matters.

From 2011 until September 2016 he served as Administrative Director of Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation. As the legal representative of the organization he was in charge of all managerial and administrative matters supporting the casework of the National Members.

Since October 2016, Klaus Rackwitz serves as the Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, a foundation established by the Government of Germany, the state of Bavaria and the city of Nuremberg. The foundation´s mandate is the advancement and application of International Criminal 

Law  which nowadays is based on the Nuremberg Principles. Its activities include training, applied research, international conferences and consulting services. 

Mr Rackwitz has previously worked in the field of IT law and has lectured for several years on civil law, commercial law and IT law at the Universities of Cologne and Düsseldorf and the Technical Academy of Wuppertal.

4.35 PM – 4.50 PM

Ma. Rhea Gretchen A. Abuso

Xavier University in Philippines

Gretchen Abuso teaches at the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Xavier University in the Philippines. She is currently studying for a PhD in Sociology at the University of the Philippines. Her research and publications mostly deal with memory studies in the Philippine context. Her op-ed, “Why Do Filipinos Keep Voting for Authoritarian Leaders?” published by The Diplomat in August this year, summarizes her research on the collective memories of Filipinos on the Marcos regime. She welcomes correspondence at [email protected] 

4.50 PM – 5.05 PM

Paula O’Donohoe

Complutense University of Madrid

Paula holds a BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology and an Erasmus Mundus MA in European Studies. She is currently doing her PhD on the intergenerational transmission of memories of Spain at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and working as a research trainee at Contested Histories. Some of her previous research interests are dissonant heritage and the narration of memories.

5.05 PM – 5.20 PM

Katalin Izsák-Somogyi

Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest

Katalin Izsák-Somogyi is a PhD student at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University at Faculty of Law. Her main reserach is mostly deal with the Hungariasn memory laws from the beginning, with the connection between law and literature and with the traumalanguage. Earlier she was a PhD student too at the Eötvös Loránd University at the Faculty of Humanities. Her main topic was the holocaustliterature. Therefore her main publications and the current research has the “base” of the postholocaust method to remember – in literary, in legal or in teological aspects. 

5.20 PM – 5.35 PM

Dr. Tamás Hoffmann

Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, Corvinus
University of Budapest

Senior Research Fellow at Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Centre for Social Sciences – Institute for Legal Studies. Lecturer in Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Criminal Law, Leading Cases of International Courts and Tribunals, International Economic Law and Comparative Constitutional Law.

5.35 – 6.05 PM

Session I: Memory law and transitional justice in contemporary Europe

9.30 AM – 9.45 AM

Prof. Arkadiusz Radwan

Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Centre in Vienna, Vytautas Magnus University

Director of the Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Centre in Vienna, habilitated doctor of legal sciences, professor at the University of Warsaw and the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, honorary co-director of the Center for Company Law & Corporate Governance at Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj, guest lecturer at, among others, the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, co-founder and first president of the Allerhand Institute, member of the advisory board of the Center for European Company Law (CECL), legal expert of the European Commission, the European Parliament and many Polish ministries.

09.45 AM – 10.00 AM

Dr. Astrid Reisinger Coracini

University of Vienna, University of Salzburg, Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law

Astrid Reisinger Coracini is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna, lecturer at the University of Salzburg and Director of the Salzburg Law School on International Criminal Law, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (SLS). She has been closely involved in SLS since 2001, first as Research Assistant of Prof. Triffterer, as Executive Director of SLS from 2005 to 2013, and as Director since then.

10.00 AM – 10.15 AM

Prof. Ireneusz Kamiński 

Institute of Legal Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jagiellonian University

Ireneusz C. Kamiński – law and sociology graduate who studied in Katowice, Cracow and Brussels. Professor at the Institute of Legal Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw (chair of International Public Law); he also lectures at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Received several awards for his research achievements.

Author of eight book and more than 200 academic publications.

Specializes in international public law and human rights law. In 2014-2016 he was an ad hoc judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

10.15 AM – 10.30 AM

Dr Filip Cyuńczyk

SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Lawyer, specializing in sociology and history of law. In 2019, he obtained a doctorate from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw. He is also a graduate of the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Gipuzkoa, Spain. His research interests include sociology of law, in particular constitutionalism, relationship between law and group identity, conflict resolution policy, legal regulation of collective memory, and studies on legal education.

He is Visiting Lecturer at the Riga Graduate School of Law, in Latvia, where he teaches constitutional law and research methods, and International Trainer in Human Rights and Conflict Policies at OSCE Border Management Staff College in Tajikistan. He is also Associate Researcher at the Center for Legal Education and Social Theory (CLEST), at the University of Wrocław.

Filip Cyuńczyk participated in research projects conducted by the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Applied Social Sciences and the Center for Legal Education and Social Theory (CLEST) of the University of Wrocław.

10.30 AM – 10.45 AM

Dr. Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider

Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance

Dr. Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider, Co-Director of the Austrian Research Agency for Post-War Justice and scientific associate at the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance. Research areas are the punishment of Nazi crimes in Austria and in an international context, crimes against Jews in the course of the Shoah, resistance and persecution in Austria, and aspects of social security law as a form of “reparation” for emigrants.

10.45 AM – 11.15 AM

11.15 AM – 11.30 AM 

Session II: Country reports – memory law from an insider position

11.30 AM – 11.45 PM

Dr. Winfried R. Garscha

Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance

Winfried R. Garscha, b. 1952, Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (senior historian), Austrian Research Agency for Post-War Justice (co-director). Main fields of research: Nazi crimes and coming to terms with them (judiciary, historiography, politics of memory)

11:45PM – 12:00 PM

Dr Francesco Trupia

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun

Francesco Trupia, PhD, is a postdoc fellow at the Centre for Excellence IMSErt at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland), where he mainly contributes to the Laboratory for the Study of Collective Memory of Post-Communist Europe. Recently, he has also been working for the Centre for Security Analysis and Prevention in the Czech Republic and the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society. In the past he has interned the Caucasus Research Resource Centre (CRRC) in Armenia and worked as a Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs (IISA) in London, UK. Much of his research has specialised on identity and memory politics, inclusion of minority groups and democratisation in Southeast Europe and South Caucasus. He has country expertise on Armenia, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Ukraine.

12.00 PM – 12.30 PM

12.30 PM – 1.15 PM 

Session III: How to fit in? The application of the memory law in individual cases

1.15 PM – 1.30 PM

Dr. Konrad Graczyk

University of Silesia in Katowice, Institute of National Remembrance)

Konrad Graczyk – PhD in law, assistant professor at the Faculty of Law 

and Administration of the University of Silesia in Katowice, head of 

research projects financed by the National Science Center in Krakow, 

entitled “Sondergericht Kattowitz – Special Court in Katowice 

1939-1945″ and “Special Courts in the General Government – 

Sondergerichte im Generalgouvernement”, employee of the Historical 

Research Office of the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw.

1.30 PM – 1.45 PM

Dr Sonia Horonziak

Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Centre in Vienna

Doctor of social sciences in the field of political science, graduated in political science at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She works as Scientific Contacts Specialist at the Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Centre in Vienna. She holds a scholarship of the Society-Environment-Technology (SET) and Erasmus Plus programs. Author of many publications in the field of political anthropology and political theory, including: Elections in the light of polarization. Hate speech in the 2019 parliamentary campaign (2021), Biological and anthropological foundations of Arnold Gehlen’s political theory (2021), Post-truth and political realism and romanticism. New occurrence or known phenomenon? (2018). Her research interests include:  political polarization, hate speech, post-truth and german political thought. 

1.45 PM – 2.00 PM

Dr Petra Švardová

Slovak Academy of Sciences

Švardová Petra works at Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences. She previously finished her thesis under joint (cotutelle) Ph.D. program of the Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University Bratislava) and INALCO Paris (University of Languages and Civilizations). The topic of her doctoral thesis was “Material heritage from the Communist past in former Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria: the questions of preservation of monuments and their new roles. Soviet war memorials after 1989.” She completed her master’s degree in museum studies in 2012 at Paris Sorbonne University. Email: [email protected]

2.00 PM – 2.30 PM

2.30 PM – 2.45 PM 


Session IV: Memory and the politics: rule of law vs rule of government

2.45 PM – 3.00 PM

Prof. Gerry Simpson

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Gerry Simpson is Professor of International Law at the LSE. His latest book, The Sentimental Life of International Law: Literature, Language and Longing in Global Politics is being published this month by Oxford University Press. International Law and the Cold War (eds. Craven, Pahuja, Simpson) was published last year with Cambridge University Press. He is currently working on Cold War International Law (a monograph with Craven and Pahuja) and due for publication by Cambridge University Press in 2022, and a mediation on nuclearism entitled The Atomics, My Nuclear Family at the End of the Earth.

3.00 PM – 3.15 PM

Dr Marina Bán

University of Copenhagen

Marina Bán has earned their doctorate from the University of Amsterdam in 2020. Their thesis ‘The Legal Governance of Historical Memory and the Rule of Law’, examined selected states’ treatment of their past and evaluated how governmental control over historical memory via legal measures affects the rule of law. They are now Postdoctoral Researcher in the ERC-funded Project IMAGINE, at iCourts, University of Copenhagen, working on European and Hungarian constitutional law.

3.15 PM – 3.30 PM

Assoc. Prof. Charis Papacharalambous

University of Cyprus, Goethe University

Associate Professor in Criminal Law & Jurisprudence (Law Dept.; University of Cyprus); Dr. iur. in Criminal Law and Law Theory (Goethe University, Frankfurt a. M., Germany). Theme of dissertation: Das politische Delikt im legalistischen Rechtsstaat, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1991; Lawyer at the Greek Supreme Court; formerly: Legal Advisor to the Greek Minister of Justice, Senior Investigator at the Greek Ombudsman; author of 3 monographs on Criminal Law in Greek (: “Participation at suicide” [1997]; “Naturalism and normative approach. Causality and objective imputation as cornerstones of the general theory of wrongdoing” [2003]; The Penal Protection of the External Security of the State. Systematic Commentary on Art. 138-152 of the Greek Criminal Code” [2016]”), two editions of a Textbook on Cypriot Criminal Law/General Part (2015/2017 and 2021) and of about 120 contributions (articles, notes on court judgments, book chapters and systematic commentaries to articles of the Greek Criminal Code); a monograph on ‘Heidegger and Law’ and a Jurisprudence Textbook have been recently published in Greek (2020 and 2021 accordingly); continuously participant at international law conferences and research programs; member of many scientific associations. Fields of scientific interests: imputation theories, complicity theories, international criminal law, criminal policy, critical legal studies, postmodern thinking and law; law ontology. Inspiring thinkers: Deleuze, Levinas, Heidegger, Adorno, Carl Schmitt.

Academic Address: Law Department, University of Cyprus, Faculty of Economics and Management, University Av. 1, 2109 Aglantzia, Nicosia, Cyprus.

e-mail: [email protected]

3.30 PM – 4.00 PM 




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Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Centre in Vienna
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