Natalia Timofejewa was born into a family of teachers. She studied Philosophy and History from 1972-1976 at the Martin Luther University in Halle / Wittenberg.
From 1982 she was a doctoral candidate at the Chair of New and Modern History, specializing in "General History" at the Leningrad State University (today Saint Petersburg). In the beginning, her research interests were the German and Soviet history of the post-war period in Germany and the Soviet Union, the culture of remembrance and intercultural communication. She received her PhD in 1985.
From 1992 to 1995 she completed a postdoctoral degree at the Moscow State Pedagogical University.
From 2000 to 2004 Natalja Timofejewa worked at the Voronezh State Pedagogical University as Vice-Rector for International Relations. Until 2007 she also worked there as a lecturer at the Chair of General History. During this time, in 2005, students of the Faculty of History conducted a series of interviews with former inmates of the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Crimea under her direction. In the years 2005 - 2006 she led and was responsible for the participation of the Woronesher student group on the international project “Biographical Documentation of Forced and Slave Labor”.
On the initiative and under the direction of Natalja Timofejewa, a cross-university regional center for oral history was founded in 2007 within the structures of the Voronezh State Pedagogical University. This center has existed as part of the structures of the Institute of High Technologies in Voronezh since 2014. In 2017 it became the Oral History Center for Education and Teaching, of which she is the director.
In 2018, this center, in collaboration with the Center for Digital Systems at Freie Universität Berlin, created an online application “Learning with Interviews. Forced Labor 1939 - 1945 ”. Two sections of this learning environment are dedicated to the inmates of Ravensbrück. Through their fate, Russian students learn about the Ravensbrück concentration camp. In 2019-2020 alone, around 200 project presentations have been carried out in seven regions as part of the project to introduce the online platform into the Russian school system.
Natalja Timofejewa is the author of more than 120 publications in Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The publications dedicated to the Ravensbrück tragedy occupy a special place:
Memories of the former prisoners of the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp Bugajewa, W. W .; Experiences from the camp in the memory of Russians - possibilities and limits of collective memories: conference materials, memories, interview / responsible. Editor: N.P. Timofejeva-Voronezh: State Pedagogical University, 2010, pp. 37-39
Interview with the former prisoner of the Ravensbrück concentration camp Kolomijez, N. I .; Experiences from the camp in the memory of Russians - possibilities and limits of collective memories: conference materials, memories, interview / responsible. Editor: N.P. Timofeeva-Voronezh: State Pedagogical University, 2010, Pp. 39-83
The invincible strength of the weak: the Ravensbrück concentration camp in the memory and fate of former prisoners. –Woronesh: State Pedagogical University, 2008, 351 pages
Timofejewa, N. P .; Aristov, S. W., Experiences from the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp in a narrative-biographical interview with L. F. Furlanowa: text and comments / N. P. Timofejewa; S. W. Aristov / Bulletin of the Voronezh State University. Series: Human Sciences. - 2008. No. 1, pp. 158-186
In 2010, under the direction of N. P. Timofejewa, a doctoral thesis dealing with the prisoners of the Ravensbrück concentration camp was developed and successfully defended for the first time in Russia. (S.W. Aristov, The Nazi Concentration Camp Ravensbrück, 1939-1945: Survival strategies of the prisoners).
Natalja Timofejewa is a member of the Joint Commission for Research into Russian-German Relations, is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial and has been a member of the International Ravensbrück Committee since 2018.
Natalja Timofejewa is the bearer of the commemorative medal “Unyielding” of the Russian Association of Former Underage Prisoners of Fascist Concentration Camps and the commemorative badge of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum “If these ten hadn't existed”.