Guidelines for international discourse on history and memory

Guidelines for international discourse on history and memory

sign the declaration

 

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 sign the declaration.

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:

Guidelines for international discourse on history and 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.


print


see scan of the signed document

information on personal data protection

withdrawal of support



sign the declaration

List of signatories of the Guidelines

To this day, the document was signed by:



a
  • dr Florin Abraham
    historian, senior researcher within the National Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism, 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
  • Corrie Allegro
    Graphic Design Practitioner, Art Director, Allegro Graphics Pty Ltd, Australia
  • Mihaela Arhip
    history teacher, "Spiru Haret" College - Tecuci, Romania
  • Bernardo Aviles
    journalist, Crónicas Ciudadanas, Mexico
b
  • 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, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
  • Małgorzata Burkot
    architect, PhD student, Poland
  • Miran Butka
    researcher, Foreign and Public Relations specialist, Institute for the Studies of Communist Crimes and Consequences, Albania
c
  • prof. Jau-hwa Chen
    Director of Human Rights Program, Soochow University in Taipei, Taiwan
  • dr Ludmila D. Cojocaru
    associate professor, Institute of Social History ProMemoria, Moldova State University, Republic of Moldova
  • Marina Constantinoiu
    MA, journalist, Romania
  • prof. Stanisław Czekalski
    professor, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
  • dr László Csorba
    university professor, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungarian National Museum, Hungary
d
  • Alonso Daire
    writer, Chile
  • Matei Dan
    history teacher, Secondary School Pui, Romania
  • István Deák
    MA, editor and journalist, Romania
  • Natalia Diacenco
    MA, history teacher, Dante Alighieri Secondary School, Romania
  • dr Claudia-Florentina Dobre
    Centre for Memory and Identity Studies (CSMI), Romania
  • Mihai Dragomir
    former director of Râşnov Historical Film Festival, Romania
e
  • dr Stephan Eisel
    politician, member of the Advisory Board of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Germany
  • Mónika Endrei
    history teacher, Hungary
f
  • Erica Fugger
    oral historian, Washington College, USA
  • dr Réka Földváryné Kiss
    historian, Chairman of the National Committee of Remembrance, member of the Steering Committee of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Hungary
g
  • Michał Gilewski
    PhD student, MA, Faculty of History, Poland
  • dr Jonila Godole
    executive director, Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture, IDMC, Albania
h
  • prof. Peter Haslinger
    historian, Director of Herder Institute, Margburg, member of the Academic Council of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Germany
  • Elena Helerea
    researcher, Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania
  • prof. Constantin Hlihor
    historian at the Institute of Romanian Revolution of December 1989, member of the Academic Council of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Romania
  • Aneta Hoffmann
    PhD candidate, MA, Poland
  • prof. Josef Höchtl
    professor of social economy, politician, member-observer of the Advisory Board of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Austria
  • dr Michał Haake
    University Professor, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland
j
  • Viliam Jablonický
    historian, journalist and art critic, member of the Academic Council of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Slovakia
  • Aneta Jalocha
    PhD candidate, Institute of Audiovisual Arts, Jagiellonian University, Poland
k
  • dr Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman
    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 of 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, National University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania
  • 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, Poland
  • Robert Kostro
    historian, director of the Polish History Museum, member of the Advisory Board of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Poland
  • Erzsébet Kozma
    Christian Intellectuals' Association (KÉSZ), Hungary
  • dr Ondrej Krajňák
    movie director and historian, member of the Board of Directors of the Nation's Memory Institute, Slovakia
  • prof. Afrim Krasniqi
    Albanian Institute for Political Studies, Albania
  • Bartłomiej Krzysztan
    PhD candidate, MA, University of Wrocław, Poland
l
  • Joanna Lang
    Head of Department of Iconography and Photography, Warsaw Rising Museum, Poland
  • Neringa Latvytė-Gustaitienė
    PhD student at the Vilnius University Faculty of Communication, Head of History Research Department Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Lithuania
  • Horia-Victor Lefter
    PhD candidate, teaching assistant, University of Bordeaux, France
  • prof. Róbert Letz
    historian, member of the Academic Council of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Slovakia
  • dr Karolina Lewestam
    journalist, lecturer, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Dzintra Liepina
    history teacher, Latvia
  • Csaba Loppert
    president, 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
m
  • dr Luz Maceira-Ochoa
    independent scholar, Mexico/Spain
  • prof. Paweł Machcewicz
    historian, professor, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • Gentiola Madhi
    researcher, Albania
  • Eystein Markusson
    Director, 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 dvisory Board of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Hungary
  • prof. Sattar Mazhitov
    historian, General Director, International Institute for Integration of Socio-Humanitarian Researches "Intellect Orda", Republic of Kazakhsta
  • Markus Meckel
    theologian, politician, chairman of the ENRS Advisory Board, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Germany
  • prof. Georges Mink
    senior researcher, ISP-CNRS and College of Europe Natolin-Warsaw, France
  • Elżbieta Moczarska
    President of the Board, 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, Memory and Future Centre, Poland
n
  • Davjola Ndoja
    MA, independent researcher, Albania
  • Andrii Nekoliak
    MA, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies of University of Tartu, Estonia and Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • Roman Nekoliak
    intern, Research Centre of In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Ukraine
  • prof. Andrzej Nowak
    professor of humanities, historian, journalist, member of the ENRS Advisory Board, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Poland
  • dr Michał Nowosielski
    sociologist, director, Institute for Western Affairs in Poznań, Poland
o
  • Vitalii Ogiienko
    PhD candidate, chief specialist, Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, Ukraine
  • Florentin Olteanu
    teacher, president, Fundaţia Culturală "Negru Vodă" Făgăraş, Romania
p
  • prof. Andrzej Paczkowski
    researcher, Poland
  • dr Enriketa Papa
    lecturer of the 'History and Memory' subject, University of Tirana, Albania
  • Robert Parzer
    MA, historian, gedenkort-t4.eu, Germany
  • Nicolae Pepene
    director, 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, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Hungary
  • prof. Valentina Pricopie
    senior researcher, Romanian Academy, Institute of Sociology, Romania
  • dr Grace Pundyk
    researcher, Australia
r
  • dr Oliver Reisner
    professor of European & Caucasian Studies, Ilia State University, Georgia
  • Rafał Rogulski
    director of the ENRS Secretariat, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), 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, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Poland
s
  • prof. Marcela Sălăgean
    university professor and member of the ENRS Academic Council, Faculty of History and Philosophy of Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, Romania
  • Constantin Schmidt
    trainer, Germany
  • dr Teodora Shek Brnardić
    senior research fellow, Croatian Institute of History, Croatia
  • Katrin Sippel
    MA, general secretary, Austrian Society for Exile Studies, Austria
  • dr Brikena Smajli
    lecturer, European University of Tirana, Albania
  • dr Monika Stafa
    researcher, Centre of Albanological Studies, Albania
  • dr phil. Boris Stamenić
    Programme Area Coordinator "Culture of Remembrance", DOCUMENTA - Center for Dealing with the Past, Croatia
  • Daria Starikashkina
    PhD student, educator, 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, POLIN Museum of the Polish Jews, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Poland
  • Gentiana Sula
    deputy minister of Welfare and Youth of Albania, member-observer of the ENRS Advisory Board, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Albania
  • Ksenia Surikova
    assistant lecturer, 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, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Academia Europaea in London, Poland
  • prof. Henryk Szlajfer
    economist and political scientist, professor, University of Warsaw, Poland
t
  • Lolita Tomsone
    director, 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, Centre for History and Culture of Central-Eastern Europe in Leipzig, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Germany
  • dr Oldřich Tůma
    historian, director of the Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, member-observer in the ENRS Academic Council, Czech Academy of Sciences, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Czech Republic
  • Marian Turza
    Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute, Slovakia
u
  • prof. Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski
    professor of law, politician, MEP, member of the ENRS Advisory Board, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Poland
v
  • 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, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Jewish Historical Institute Warsaw, Israel
  • Sandra Vokk
    MSc Social Anthropology, CEO of the Unitas Foundation, Unitas Foundation, Estonia
w
  • dr Patryk Wawrzyński
    project manager, political researcher at the Nicola Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Nicola Nicolaus Copernicus University, 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, Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Germany
  • Marlena Weinberger Pavlović
    MA, president, Serbian - Jewish Choral Society, Serbia
  • Ronald Wendorf
    editor-in-chief, Osteuropakanal, Germany
  • Anne Wilson
    tutor, United Kingdom
  • prof. Joanna Wojdon
    historian, professor, University of Wrocław, Poland
  • Elira Çanga
    journalist and media expert, Albania
  • dr Irena Šentevska
    independent researcher, Serbia