14th March 2022

People are the strength of art and culture, not tanks and guns

The German National Library (DNB) has noted with horror and bewilderment the actions of Putin’s Russia in Ukraine. As a national library, we maintain professional dialogue with colleagues in many cultural institutions around the world. Director General Frank Scholze who is also the current Chair of CENL has sent a message to the Director of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine. In his message, he assures the Director and her colleagues of the DNB’s solidarity and makes an offer of help.

In response to the appeal of Minister of State for Culture and Media Claudia Roth, whose words have been adapted for the title of this text, we have been searching our collections for Ukrainian traces. And found quite a few: the DNB’s catalogue lists more than 3.400 titles which were either written in Ukrainian or translated from Ukrainian. A reading and conversation are to take place at the German National Library in Leipzig on Friday, 18th March 2022: “A Formality in Kiev” with Dmitrij Kapitelman. It goes without saying that we have also found Russian and Belarusian traces.

We hope that the state of war will end very soon and that people will be able to live and work together in peace, freedom and democracy.

  • DNB together with other German libraries (e.g. the Berlin State Library) and the German Library Association Deutscher Bibliotheksverband engages in helping the Ukrainian libraries.
  • The DNB in Leipzig and Frankfurt/Main is offering scholarships for 2-4 librarians from the Ukraine (who might have already fled the country).
  • The DNB plans to allow staff members to devote two hours working time per week e. g. for volunteer work with Ukrainian refugees.
  • The DNB is supporting initiatives like „Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online, (sucho.org)“ to help safeguarding the Ukrainian cultural heritage.
  • Via the German Library Association DNB has offered the Ukrainian Library Association help to rescue the Ukrainian cultural heritage.
  • As a sign of solidarity DNB indicates Ukrainian literature in the catalogue.
  • The DNB will participate in further initiatives and actions that Minister of State for Culture and Media is organizing in support of the Ukraine.

Collection of Links with useful information assembled by German Cultural Council/Deutscher Kulturrrat: http://www.kulturrat.de/ukraine/ (in German)