On 2 September 2020, the world is marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII). The war remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes of the European nations’ memories. Many current conflicts are embedded in history and in the use of history as a political tool.
On May 2020, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum released a short film - “Clash of Memories: 75 Years after the End of WWII in Europe”. The film deals with historical memory and different modes of remembrance in Germany, Poland and Russia.
Taking the film as a starting point, the speakers will seek answers to the following questions:
- What are the main narratives of remembrance surrounding WWII in different European countries? Who are the major actors in the process of commemoration?
- How does the clash of memories emerge? In which way do the current conflicts of memories relate to each other?
- How is the topic reflected in history school education? Is a unified history (textbook) possible?
- What can be done to resolve these conflicts deriving from the historical past?
All participants are encouraged to actively contribute to the discussion and share their thoughts and narratives from their own countries.
- Jörg Morré, German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst (Germany)
- Alexandra Polivanova, International Memorial (Russia)
- Jan Szkudliński, historian, former specialist at the Museum of World War II (Poland)
- Steven Stegers, EuroClio (the Netherlands)
The discussion will take place on 2 September 2020, 4pm – 6pm, via Zoom. The language of the discussion is English, no interpretation will be provided.
The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum was established in 2011 by non-governmental organisations as a permanent common platform. At the moment, 183 NGOs from Russia and the European Union are members or supporters of the Forum. It aims at developing the cooperation of civil society organisations from both Russia and the EU, and greater participation of NGOs in the EU-Russia dialogue. The Forum has been actively involved, inter alia, in the question of Visa facilitation agreements, the development of civic participation, the protection of the environment and human rights, as well as dealing with history and civic education.
To watch the short film “Clash of Memories: 75 Years after the End of WWII in Europe” please click here. The film is a follow-up of the Touring Exhibition “Different Wars: National School Textbooks on World War II”, which was shown in 2016-2019 in 20 cities and towns in EU member states, Belarus and Russia.