“Genealogies of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe” project would like to invite you for upcoming seminar devoted to memory studies in France. The seminar is conceived as an introduction to the conference “Regions of Memory” and its aim is to show the regional diversity of memory studies throughout Europe. During the seminar, researchers from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, will present their papers on some aspects of studying collective memory in France.
Date and venue: 20th October 2012, 2:00 – 4:00 pm CEST; Warsaw University Library, Dobra 56/66 street,
The seminar will be held in French and Polish (with simultaneous translation) and available on-line on www.genealogies.enrs.eu (with possibility of asking questions).
August 23 is the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism created by the European Parliament in 2008. This day is also the day on which in 1939 the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed. A Pact that allowed for Germany under Hitler and Soviet Union under Stalin to divide much of Europe. As well as dividing the countries between each other, the two totalitarianisms terrorized the citizens of the conuquered areas with concentration camps, gulags, forced labour, crematoria and the cold war.
This year, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity wishes to inaugurate a long term project, which aims to inform Europeans about August 23 – a symbol of remembrance for the victims of 20th century’s totalitarian regimes – victims of Brown and Red terror. An important aspect of these commemorations is a Remember. August 23 badge, which you can find on our website.
Commemorations in Warsaw for the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism were held for the first time on 23 August 2011 during Poland's EU presidency. This saw the signing of the Warsaw Declaration, urging remembrance among Europeans of the criminal consequences of totalitarian regimes and calling on the European Union to support, research and collect documents relating to the crimes committed by these regimes. Last year ceremonies took place in Hungary. This year, ministers of justice and representatives of ministries are meeting with young people from European countries in Lithuania – in Vilnius, Trakai, Paneriai and Druskininkai.
1st of March 2012: The National Day of Remembrance of the „Cursed Soldiers” – the latest national day in Poland
In 2011 the Polish Parliament established a new national day, the Day of Remembrance of the “Cursed Soldiers”. It is celebrated on 1st of March, that is the anniversary of execution of seven officers of the organization “Wolność i Niepodległość” (“Freedom and Independence”) in a prison in Warsaw. This national day commemorates members of the independence underground who in 1945 (and partially even in 1944) started an armed struggle against the communist regime in Poland and its Soviet patrons. This particular term “cursed soldiers” shows that those, who were the most persistent defenders of the Polish right to self-determination, were until 1989 described as villains and presented in media and in school curricula as deplorable reactionaries and criminals. The fight against them was also an important component of the “founding myth” upon which the communist regime in Poland was based.
On the 2nd of March Mr. Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary and Minister of Public Administration and Justice, during his one-day visit to Warsaw, was a guest in the European Network Remebrance and Solidarity Secretariate.
Jiří Gruša was a Czech writer and diplomat. Since 1960s he was involved in anti-communist opposition in Czechoslovakia. After the collapse of communism he served as the first non-communist ambassador of Czechoslovakia and then of the Czech Republic to Germany and Austria. From 2004 to 2009 he was the President of International PEN. Between 2005 and 2009 he was a Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Since 2008 he had been a member of the Board of the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity.
He was an outstanding intellectual, a charming person, invaluable, wise and tactful advisor. We are disturbed and saddened by his death.