Join the THE BERLIN MOOT online on 17 April: From 9:30-17:30 CEST all panels will be livestreamed.

Wacth the THE BERLIN MOOT livestream

FEATURE | 12 Oct 2022

“Peaceful coexistence after war needs justice”

Together with “The Reckoning Project”, Berghof organised a symposium on testimony collection and transitional justice in Ukraine. Berghof and “The Reckoning Project “ organised a hybrid symposium on the role of testimony collection for transitional justice efforts in Ukraine. Photo © Berghof Foundation

Berlin newspaper reports about Berghof symposium on collecting testimonies of war crimes in Ukraine


 

On 14 September, the Berghof Foundation organised a symposium on testimony collection in an ongoing war and how this might influence transitional justice processes in the future. The meeting was organised in cooperation with “The Reckoning Project”, a newly established civil society initiative that trains journalists and researchers in gathering evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.

Michael Maier, a journalist from German newspaper "Berliner Zeitung", attended the symposium and reported about Berghof’s role, the initiative’s co-founder Janine di Giovanni, an experienced war reporter, and her relentless work to document war crimes in Ukraine.

In the article, published on 8 October, Andrew Gilmour, Executive Director of the Berghof Foundation, explains why Berghof organised the symposium and why impartial testimony collection can play a crucial role for peace processes after war:

“The Berghof Foundation, founded by Tübingen physicist and entrepreneur Georg Zundel, invited to this meeting in Berlin. Zundel had drawn the lesson from the horrors of the Nazi regime that Germany needed to advance research into non-violent conflict transformation. ‘Actually, it is our job to develop opportunities for mediation, reconciliation and peacemaking behind the scenes,’ Andrew Gilmour, the foundation's Executive Director, tells this newspaper: ‘We do not investigate war criminals.’

The war in Ukraine is the first war in history where evidence that can lead to tribunals and convictions is collected while the war still rages.Andrew Gilmour, Executive Director of the Berghof Foundation

Nevertheless, with this symposium, he is offering a platform to a group that wants to do precisely that. “The Reckoning Project” is supported by the US government and its seed money comes from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Gilmour wants to bring attention to the project: ‘The war in Ukraine is the first war in history where evidence that can lead to tribunals and convictions is collected while the war still rages,’ he says.

Justice is the prerequisite for peaceful coexistence after a war. It is necessary to record all crimes – regardless of which side committed them: ‘It is not justice if we only look at one side. We have to be truly impartial,’ says the Scotsman, who worked in leading positions for the Secretary-General of the United Nations for many years.”

Find out more about the symposium on our website here or read the full Berliner Zeitung article (in German).


Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
email hidden; JavaScript is required