Video: ZOiS Forum

#30PostSovietYears | 30 Years of Post-Soviet Migration


Since her semi-autobiographical debut novel All Russians Love Birch Trees, Olga Grjasnowa’s works have explored various aspects of migration, displacement and identity between countries, languages and religions. After 30 years of post-Soviet immigration into Germany, a diverse array of lifestyles and identities with new meanings have emerged. Olga Grjasnowa read from her latest novel Der verlorene Sohn [The Prodigal Son] and talked to us about the illusions, fears and hopes of people living in transcultural, transnational and multilingual spaces between Germany, Russia and the Caucasus. The evening event was part of Jews Along the Silk Road, an international conference at the Jewish Museum Berlin (10-12 October 2021).


  • Olga Grjasnowa is a German writer with Russian-Jewish roots, who moved to Germany at the age of eleven. She has written four novels since 2012, all of which deal with questions of identity and homeland at different times.
  • Britta Schneider is Junior Professor for Language Use and Migration at the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder.
  • Tsypylma Darieva is a Senior Researcher at ZOiS.


Taking #30PostSovietYears as its theme for 2021, the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), in cooperation with the Körber Foundation, the German Association for East European Studies (DGO), the German Historical Institute Moscow, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia and Memorial International, is hosting a series of events and online formats that revisit the watershed year of 1991 and examine the legacies of the Soviet era.


The event is part of the series ZOiS Forum that brings together academic, artistic, and political perspectives on the issues driving Eastern Europe today.

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