|European Remembrance Third International Symposium for
European institutions dealing with 20th century European history
and the Fourth Networking Meeting with remembrance organisations
supported by the Europe for Citizens programme
This year brings us back to some of the most important turning points in European history: the centenary of the First World War, the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the 25th anniversary of the momentous events of 1989 and the 10th anniversary of the entry of former Soviet bloc countries in central Europe into the European Union. These anniversaries are an excellent starting point for a debate on the transition of central European countries from dictatorship to democracy and on how they are managing to come to terms with the legacy of the past.
In order to have an open and productive debate, it must be borne in mind that not only are these defining moments often understood differently in each country, but there are also multiple interpretations of the past within each country, as recently illustrated by the debate in the UK on how to commemorate the First World War.
The year 1989 is considered a turning point in the history of Poland (first free elections), the Czech Republic and Slovakia (the Velvet Revolution) and Germany (the fall of the Berlin Wall). In other countries, such as the Baltic States or Ukraine, different dates are remembered and commemorated. The First World War also has a different meaning in different national contexts. While regarded as a traumatic experience in western Europe, central European countries view it more in the context of regaining their national independence.
During the symposium we will look at aspects of the European experience of the 20th century that are common to all European countries. We will consider the 25th anniversary of the momentous events of 1989 not in terms of a collapse of dictatorial regimes in central Europe, but rather as an important step in opening the way for reuniting eastern and western Europe and bringing Europeans closer together in the 21st century. The symposium in Prague is part of an ongoing debate and dialogue among European networks, organisations and individuals on issues relating to Europe’s modern history. It is carried on in a spirit of pluralism, diversity, critical reflection and respect for freedom of thought.
Europe between War and Peace 1914–2004
Turning Points in the 20th Century European History
9-11 April 2014, Prague
Loretánské nám. 101/5, 118 00 Praha, Czech Republic
16:00 Official opening
Lubomir Zaorálek, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic — tbc
Małgorzata Omilanowska, State Secretary, Ministry for Culture and National Heritage of Poland- tbc
Jiří Drahoš, Chairman of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Sophie Beernaerts, Head of Unit, Europe for Citizens Programme, European Commission
Jan Rydel, Chair of the Steering Committee, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
16:45 Keynote Lecture
Turning Points in European History: 1914-1939-1945-1989-2004.
Marci Shore, Yale University, US
17:30 Panel discussion:
Turning Points of European Remembrance. Different approaches.
James Mark, University of Exeter, UK
Heidemarie Uhl, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Włodzimierz Borodziej, Warsaw University/University of Jena, Poland
Moderator: Pavel Tychtl, European Commission
18:30 Opening of the exhibition ‘Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes: Spotlights on the History of Europe in the Twentieth Century’,
Anna Kaminsky, Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship, Germany
From 9:00 to 13:00 – projects and institutions exhibition (foyer of the conference venue)
Oldřich Tůma, Director, Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences
Basil Kerski, Director, European Solidarity Centre
9:15 Panel discussion
The collapse of communism and its aftermath. Legacy of the Cold War period in Europe.
Laure Neumayer, University Paris 1, France
ek, the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Republic
Łukasz Kamiński, the Institute of National Remembrance, Poland
Moderator: Matěj Spurný, the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Republic
10:45 Coffee Break
11:15 Panel discussion
The next generation. New interpretations of recent European history.
Lenka Koprivova, Post Bellum, Czech Republic
Sandra Vokk, Unitas Foundation, Estonia
Irit Dekel, Humboldt University, Germany
Moderator: Zofia Wóycicka, the House of European History, Brussels
14.30 Presentation and film about the Memorial of Lidice
15:30 Excursion to the Memorial of Lidice
20:00 Social event
From 9:00 to 14:00 – projects and institutions exhibition (foyer of the conference venue)
9:00-12:00 Five simultaneous workshops:
Europe for Citizens/European Commission (9:00 – 12:00)
Museums and Projects about the Great War/Imperial War Museum (9:00 – 12:00)
Reflecting Remembrance in History Education. Three case studies on Turning Points in Europe’s 20th Century History from Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Ukraine/Euroclio (9:00 – 11:00)
Sound in the Silence. Art and historical education/Die Motte (11:15-12:00)
Legacy of 1989 and the Collapse of Communism. Presentation and discussion about successful international projects / European Platform Memory and Conscience (9:00 – 12:00)
12:00 Open discussions with representatives of the organising institutions
13:30 Final lecture
Pieter Lagrou, Free University of Brussels, Belgium
Dušan Kováč, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Siobhán Kattago, Tallinn University, Estonia
Moderator: Oldřich Tůma, the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Republic
15:30 End of the conference
Languages: simultaneous interpretation English-Czech
European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship (Berlin), European Solidarity Centre (Gdansk), Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague)
In partnership with
The European Commission
With financial contribution by
Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) is an international initiative that aims to research, document, and promote the study of 20th century European history with focus on periods of war, dictatorial regimes and resistance to oppression. Member countries of the Network are Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Romania is soon to join the network, while Austria and the Czech Republic have observer status.
Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship
The Federal Foundation was founded in 1998 by the German parliament. Its legal mandate allows it to research the causes and effects of the dictatorship in the Soviet Occupation Zone, later the German Democratic Republic. It promotes history projects, memorials, history education in schools and scientific research. It also provides counseling for victims of the communist dictatorship.
European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk
Established in 2007, the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk is a museum and an educational and research centre. It focuses on the history of the solidarity movement and on promoting civil society and democracy. It also supports freedom and solidarity in countries which are still under authoritarian regimes.
Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences
The Institute of Contemporary History is an integral part of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Its job is to do primary research into post-1938 Czech and Czechoslovak history from an international point of view.
European Commission, Europe for Citizens programme
The Europe for Citizens programme is a funding and policy instrument which aims to raise awareness of remembrance, common history and values and the EU’s aim of promoting peace, its values and the well-being of its people by stimulating debate, reflection and the development of networks.
The programme’s other objective is to encourage the democratic and civic participation of citizens at EU level, by helping them to understand the EU’s policy-making process and promoting opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering at EU level.