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European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, being actively involved in the international discourse on history and remembrance, feels much responsibility for shaping frames of the debate in this field.

This is why, willing to contribute to developing a set of standards of responsible discussion on history, the ENRS experts – members of the Steering Committee (prof. Jan Rydel, dr Florin Abraham, dr Réka Földváryné Kiss, dr Ondrej Krajňák, prof. Matthias Weber) together with other ENRS assemblies members, have signed a document entitled Guidelines for international discourse on history and memory, defining rules which are worth considering when implementing historical projects. 

The intention of ENRS is to invite a broad range of institutions and individuals active in the field of remembrance to support this initiative.

If you agree with the statements in Guidelines for international discourse on history and memory, please contact us at: Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie obsługi JavaScript.

 

Guidelines for international discourse on history and memory

Historical memory is one of the cornerstones in the identity and heritage of individuals and communities. It plays a fundamental role in shaping the relationships between countries and peoples, and may also be a source of tension and conflict. 

Initiatives such as permanent and temporary museum exhibitions, monuments, literary works, documentaries and historical films, websites and other creative works aimed at directly or indirectly developing a historical view of one or more peoples and states, are tools in international historical discourse.

These types of activities, which are influenced by political factors, be it directly – through commissioning projects, or indirectly – for example through participation in project financing, become acts of international politics of memory. 

Considering the promotion of peace and the development of international cooperation, alongside the strengthening of democracy and human rights, as the overriding goals of international policy in the 21st century, and in the firm belief that the criteria of objectivism, openness and tolerance are the best means of depicting reality, including historical reality, we formulate the following guidelines for international historical discourse and international politics of memory:

1. Present varied viewpoints 

Those developing initiatives in international historical discourse and international politics of memory should strive to ensure such presentation of historical events that reliably takes into account the viewpoints, reasoning and arguments of all those involved in such events. Affirmative presentation of totalitarian, racist and chauvinistic visions of the world and of history is unacceptable.

2. Avoid deterministic expressions 

Those developing the above initiatives should ensure that they avoid suggesting to audiences that there is an inevitable dependence between historical events and the current relations between peoples and states. 

3. Avoid generalisations

The content of all international politics of memory initiatives should be commensurate with the nature and scope of the historical phenomena they concern. Individual facts with positive or negative significance, even if in themselves historically verified, should not be used to illustrate the attitudes and conduct of an entire community. Each such fact should be presented in a context reflecting its actual place in the history of a given community.

4. Treat historical figures as individuals

In order to avoid fostering and spreading stereotypes which could be applied to entire communities, when portraying both commendable historical actions and crimes, those developing international historical discourse and international politics of memory initiatives should make every effort to ensure that the persons behind such actions/perpetrators are identified as precisely as possible and presented in an individualised manner.

5. Ensure a genuine historical basis

The inclusion of completely fictional storylines in works about history poses the risk of consciously or unconsciously distorting presentation of the past.  For this reason, those developing such works should make every effort to ensure that the figures and events presented correspond as closely as possible to the historical context. 

6. Clearly define the nature of each initiative

In order to facilitate the audience’s interpretation of international historical discourse and international politics of memory initiatives, those developing such initiatives should make every effort to clearly inform the audience of the work’s position as historical documentation, fiction, a historical work of fiction or other, depending on the relationship between the fictional storylines in their works and historical and documentary elements. 

7. Use academic knowledge as your source

With regard to historical context, each international historical discourse and international politics of memory initiative should be based on current academic findings applicable to its content. During development, the content of such initiatives should be discussed with recognised academic experts representing specialist knowledge on a given phenomenon. The extent of academic consultation should be adequate to the planned project and its budget. All those developing initiatives are required to confirm that academic consultation has taken place in a specific scope, and to include the name of the consultant in the information on a given initiative (e.g. opening/closing credits of a film, exhibition programme).

8. Apply up-to-date didactical concepts and technical standards

When presenting texts, visual materials (images, films, maps), audio material or artifacts, try to apply didactical concepts that are state of the art and that enable the audience to experience varied viewpoints. Follow international standards and guidelines when indicating your sources and creating an adequate context environment for your material. Be aware of the implications that information in its digital form needs a specific hypertextual structure and a sustainable technological basis. In case there is too little expertise given the task that is planned, try to co-operate with experts on didactics and informatics.

The document was signed in Warsaw in December 2015. See scan of the signed document

 

To this day, the document was signed by: 

  • dr Florin Abraham, historian, member of the Board of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS), member of the ENRS Steering Committee (Romania),
  • prof. Bibek Adhikary, assistant professor, University Of Gour Banga (India),
  • Willy Aerts, MA, Nieuwe Media School vzw (Belgium),
  • Nadezha Aleksieva, teacher (Bulgaria),
  • Mihaela Arhip, history teacher, "Spiru Haret" College - Tecuci (Romania),
  • Bernardo Aviles, journalist, Crónicas Ciudadanas (Mexico),
  • dr Dorota Bazuń, sociologist, University of Zielona Góra (Poland),
  • dr Diana Bebenova-Nikolova, researcher at "Angel Kanchev" University of Ruse, Director of NGO 'Paralel-Silistra' (Bulgaria),
  • Prof. Mirta Bijuković Maršić, lecturer, professor of History and Croatian Language and Literature, Department of Cultural Studies, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek (Croatia),
  • Judith Blum, team lead, Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (Germany),
  • Hannelore Brenner-Wonschick, author, Room 28 Projects (Germany),
  • prof. Mariusz Bryl, professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland),
  • Małgorzata Burkot, PhD student, architect (Poland),
  • Miran Butka, researcher, Foreign and Public Relations specialist, Institute for the Studies of Communist Crimes and Consequences (Albania),
  • Elira Çanga, journalist and media expert (Albania),
  • prof. Jau-hwa Chen, Director of Human Rights Program at the Soochow University in Taipei (Taiwan),
  • dr Ludmila D. Cojocaru, associate professor, Institute of Social History ProMemoria, Moldova State University, Project Director of the State Program "Recovering and Historical Investigation of the Memory of Totalitarian-Communist Regime’s Victims in the Moldavian SSR (1940-1941, 1944-1953). Researches in the Localities from the Central Area of the Republic of Moldova" (Republic of Moldova),
  • Marina Constantinoiu, MA, journalist (Romania),
  • prof. Stanisław Czekalski, professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland),
  • Alonso Daire, writer (Chile),
  • Matei Dan, history teacher (Romania),
  • István Deák, MA, editor and journalist (Romania),
  • Natalia Diacenco, MA, history teacher, Dante Alighieri Secondary School (Romania),
  • Claudia-Florentina Dobre, PhD, Centre for Memory and Identity Studies (CSMI) (Romania),
  • Mihai Dragomir, former director of the Râşnov Historical Film Festival (Romania),
  • dr Stephan Eisel, politician, member of the ENRS Advisory Board (Germany),
  • Mónika Endrei, history teacher (Hungary),
  • Erica Fugger, oral historian, Washington College (USA),
  • Michał Gilewski, PhD Student, MA, Faculty of History (Poland),
  • Jonila Godole, executive director of the Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture, IDMC (Albania),
  • prof. Peter Haslinger, historian, director of the Herder Institute (Marburg, Germany), member of the ENRS Academic Council (Germany),
  • Elena Helerea, researcher, Transilvania University of Brasov (Romania),
  • prof. Constantin Hlihor, historian, Institute of Romanian Revolution of December 1989, member of the ENRS Academic Council (Romania),
  • Aneta Hoffmann, PhD candidate, MA (Poland),
  • prof. Josef Höchtl, professor of social economy, politician, member-observer of the ENRS Advisory Board (Austria),
  • Viliam Jablonický, historian, journalist and art. critic, member of the ENRS Academic Council (Slovakia),
  • Aneta Jalocha, PhD candidate, Jagiellonian University, Institute of Audiovisual Arts (Poland),
  • Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman, PhD, consultant in higher education and research (Poland),
  • Revekka Kefalea, social anthropologist (Greece),
  • Entela Kaleshi, sociologist, PhD Student, Institute for Change and Leadership in Albania (Albania),
  • prof. dr Stefan Karner, Head of Departement of Business History, University of Graz; Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the Research of Consequences of War, Graz-Vienna (Austria),
  • dr Georgia Kipouropoulou, history teacher (Greece),
  • Iosif Király, visual artist, associate professor at The National University of Arts in Bucharest (Romania),
  • dr Réka Földváryné Kiss, historian, Chairman of the National Committee of Remembrance, member of the ENRS Steering Committee (Hungary),
  • dr Anne Klein, lecturer and researcher, University of Cologne (Germany),
  • Mimoza Kociu, journalist, ABC News TV Channel (Albania),
  • dr Katarzyna Korzeniewska, historian, translator, analyst of Polish-Lithuanian relations, editor of the Polish Diplomatic Review (Poland),
  • Robert Kostro, historian, director of the Polish History Museum, member of the ENRS Advisory Board (Poland),
  • Erzsébet Kozma, Christian Intellectuals' Association (KÉSZ) (Hungary),
  • dr Ondrej Krajňák, movie director and historian, Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute (Slovakia),
  • prof. Afrim Krasniqi, Albanian Institute for Political Studies (Albania),
  • Bartłomiej Krzysztan, PhD candidate, MA, University of Wrocław (Poland),
  • dr Michael Lambert, director of the Black Sea Institute (France),
  • Joanna Lang, head of Department of Iconography and Photography, Warsaw Rising Museum (Poland),
  • Neringa Latvytė-Gustaitienė, PhD student at Vilnius University Faculty of Communication, Head of History Research Department at Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum (Lithuania),
  • Horia-Victor Lefter, PhD Candidate, teaching assistant at the University of Bordeaux (France),
  • prof. Róbert Letz, historian, member of the ENRS Academic Council (Slovakia),
  • dr Karolina Lewestam, journalist, lecturer at the University of Warsaw (Poland),
  • Dzintra Liepina, history teacher (Latvia),
  • Csaba Loppert, president of Anna Kéthly Society (Hungary),
  • Sarah Lorimer, researcher, Project Officer at LOCA (Ireland)
  • Keith Lowe, historian, author of ‘Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II’ (Great Britain),
  • dr Luz Maceira-Ochoa, independent scholar (Mexico/Spain),
  • prof. Paweł Machcewicz, historian, professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland),
  • Gentiola Madhi, researcher (Albania),
  • Eystein Markusson, Director of Narvik Centre of War and Peace (Norway),
  • dr Zoltán Maruzsa, historian, politologist, Secretary of State in the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities, member of the ENRS Advisory Board (Hungary),
  • prof. Sattar Mazhitov, historian, General Director of the International Institute for Integration of Socio-Humanitarian Researches "Intellect Orda" (Republic of Kazakhstan),
  • Markus Meckel, theologian, politician, chairman of the ENRS Advisory Board (Germany),
  • Prof. Georges Mink, senior researcher, ISP-CNRS and College of Europe Natolin-Warsaw (France),
  • Elżbieta Moczarska, President of the Board of the Kazimierz and Zofia Moczarscy Foundation (Poland),
  • Alexandra Morehead, independent scholar (USA), 
  • dr Angeliki Mouzakiti, lecturer of Modern Greek Language, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi (Romania),
  • Marek Mutor, director of the Memory and Future Centre (Poland),
  • Davjola Ndoja, MA, independent researcher (Albania),
  • Andrii Nekoliak, MA, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv and Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies of University of Tartu, Estonia (Ukraine),
  • Roman Nekoliak, intern at Research Centre of In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres (Ukraine),
  • prof. Andrzej Nowak, professor of humanities, historian, journalist, member of the ENRS Advisory Board (Poland),
  • dr Michał Nowosielski, sociologist, director of the Institute for Western Affairs in Poznań (Poland),
  • Vitalii Ogiienko, PhD candidate, chief specialist in the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (Ukraine),
  • Florentin Olteanu, teacher, president of the Fundaţia Culturală "Negru Vodă" Făgăraş (Romania),
  • prof. Andrzej Paczkowski, researcher (Poland),
  • dr Enriketa Papa, lecturer of the 'History and Memory' subject at the University of Tirana (Albania),
  • Robert Parzer, MA, historian, gedenkort-t4.eu (Germany),
  • Nicolae Pepene, director of Brasov History Museum (Romania),
  • dr Tetiana Perga, senior researcher, State institution Institute of the World History of Ukraine’s Academy of Science (Ukraine),
  • prof. Attila Pók, historian, deputy director of the Institute of History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, chairman of the ENRS Academic Council (Hungary),
  • prof. Valentina Pricopie, senior researcher, Romanian Academy, Institute of Sociology (Romania),
  • dr Grace Pundyk, researcher (Australia),
  • dr Oliver Reisner, professor of European & Caucasian Studies, Ilia State University (Georgia),
  • Rafał Rogulski, director of the ENRS Secretariat (Poland),
  • prof. Wojciech Roszkowski, historian, economist and politician, former MEP (Poland),
  • dr Bartłomiej Różycki, Institute of Political Sciences at the Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland),
  • prof. Jan Rydel, historian, chairman of the ENRS Steering Committee (Poland),
  • prof. Marcela Sălăgean, university professor at the Faculty of History and Philosophy of Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, member of the ENRS Academic Council (Romania),
  • Constantin Schmidt, trainer (Germany),
  • dr Irena Šentevska, independent researcher (Serbia),
  • dr Teodora Shek Brnardić, senior research fellow at the Croatian Institute of History (Croatia),
  • Katrin Sippel, MA, general secretary of the Austrian Society for Exile Studies (Austria),
  • dr Brikena Smajli, lecturer at the European University of Tirana (Albania),
  • dr Monika Stafa, researcher, Centre of Albanological Studies (Albania),
  • Daria Starikashkina, PhD student, educator at International School for Holocaust Studies 'Yad Vashem' (Russian Federation),
  • prof. Dariusz Stola, historian, director of the POLIN Museum of the Polish Jews, member of the ENRS Academic Council (Poland),
  • Gentiana Sula, deputy minister of Welfare and Youth of Albania, member-observer of the ENRS Advisory Board (Albania),
  • Ksenia Surikova, assistant lecturer at the Saint Petersburg State University (Russia),
  • prof. Bogdan Szlachta, Professor of Humanities, Dean of the Faculty of International and Political Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, member of the Academia Europaea in London (Poland),
  • prof. Henryk Szlajfer, economist and political scientist, professor at the University of Warsaw (Poland),
  • Lolita Tomsone, director of Žanis Lipke Memorial (Latvia),
  • Hartmut Topf, freelance writer and journalist, Förderkreis Erinnerungsort Topf&Söhne (Germany),
  • prof. Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, director of Center for European Studies, Lund University (Sweden),
  • Naum Trajanovski, PhD candidate, GSSR, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland),
  • prof. Stefan Troebst, historian, Slavicist, deputy director of Centre for History and Culture of Central-Eastern Europe in Leipzig, member of the ENRS Academic Council (Germany),
  • dr Oldřich Tůma, historian, director of the Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, member-observer in the ENRS Academic Council (Czech Rep.),
  • Marian Turza, Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute (Slovakia),
  • prof. Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, professor of law, politician, MEP, member of the ENRS Advisory Board (Poland),
  • Anikó Vén, member of Association of Hungarian Political Prisoners (POFOSZ) (Hungary),
  • István Vén, inventor, survivor of Hungarian revolution 1956, member of Association of Hungarian Political Prisoners (POFOSZ) (Hungary),
  • Yael Vishnizki-Levi, BFA Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, artist, researcher at JHI Warsaw (Israel),
  • Sandra Vokk, MSc Social Anthropology, CEO of the Unitas Foundation (Estonia),
  • dr Patryk Wawrzyński, project manager, political researcher at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland),
  • prof. dr Matthias Weber, historian, Germanist, director of the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe, member of the ENRS Steering Committee (Germany),
  • Marlena Weinberger Pavlović, MA, president of Serbian - Jewish Choral Society (Serbia),
  • Ronald Wendorf, editor-in-chief of the Osteuropakanal (Germany),
  • Anne Wilson, tutor (United Kingdom),
  • prof. Joanna Wojdon, historian, professor at the University of Wrocław (Poland).

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