cover image of “What’s the point of history… if we never learn?” Dialogue, Remembrance and Solidarity in Europe project

    “What’s the point of history… if we never learn?”

    Dialogue, Remembrance and Solidarity in Europe. New Challenges for Public History and Historical Education

    16-17 October 2023 Schloßplatz 10178 Berlin, Saal 1 (Portal 3)

    Almost 80 years after the Second World War and 25 after the war in former Yugoslavia, fighting continues in Europe yet again.
    The Russian attack on Ukraine has challenged our certainty that we have learned the right lessons from the past.

    This is accompanied by the awareness that individual local and national experiences still lead to tensions despite the foundation of shared European values. Heterogeneity in the culture of memory exists not only between European countries but also within them as different social groups represent divergent historical narratives. Diverse outlooks on the past shape the perception of the present and influence political actions across Europe.

    The politics of memory of any given country is not always identical with the memory policy of civil society. Occasionally even the discourse about a common European past that began at the turn of the millennium, serving as the foundation of a European community able to act in unison, seems to be called into question. Given such diversity of experiences, is a common memory possible at all? Can national interests and international solidarity be reconciled? And last but not least: what challenges do European practices of remembrance and historical education face in the light of the migratory movements of recent years?

    The Berlin event aims to showcase the diversity of perspectives that serve as a basis for discussing the current challenges for history teaching in public spaces and historical education. During the forum, we wish to focus on a shared conversation about the past and its importance for seeking the truth, peace, democracy, freedom and tolerance, as well as for a remembrance that respects differences, looks for connections and strengthens understanding and solidarity in Europe.

    The forum will be attended by politicians and representatives of cultural educational institutions, as well as actors in the field of historical and political education.

    Admission is free.


    16 October 2023 (Monday)

    14.00–14.30 - Opening and Welcome Speeches
    Hartmut Dorgerloh, Humboldt Forum, Berlin
    Rafał Rogulski, ENRS, Warsaw
    Matthias Weber, BKGE, Oldenburg

    Claudia Roth, Member of Parliament, German Minister of State for Culture and the Media

    14.30–14.45 - Film Screening: Sound in the Silence  

    14.45–16.30 - Panel Discussion 1: ‘Do We Ever Learn from History? Challenges for the 21st Century’
    Johannes Schraps, Member of German Parliament, Berlin
    Villano Qiriazi, Council of Europe, Education Department, Strasbourg
    Dan WolfArtistic Director of ‘Sound in the Silence’, Berkeley (online)
    Lale Yildirim, Osnabrück University, Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, Osnabrück
    Alexandra Mészáros, participant in ‘Sound in the Silence’ 2022 in Kaunas, Budapest

    Moderation: Marek Zając, journalist and publicist, International Auschwitz Council, Warsaw

    16.30–17.00 Coffee Break

    17.00–19.00 - Panel Discussion 2: ‘Migration Societies and European Memory’
    Patrick Simon, French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), Paris
    Agnieszka Kosowicz, Polish Migration Forum Foundation, Warsaw
    Naoimh McNamee, Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Glencree
    Dima Albitar Kalaji, Author, Journalist, wearedoingit e.V., Damascus/Berlin

    Moderation: Laura Balomiri, University of Vienna, Centre for Translation Studies, Vienna

    19.3022.00 Reception
    The reception will take place at the Romanian Embassy (Dorotheenstraße 62-66, 10117 Berlin)
    Limited number of places

    German–Ukrainian Jazz Trio, Hamburg
    Christopher Olesch (vibraphone), Rostyslav Voitko (saxophone), Magnus Bodzin (double bass)

    17 October 2023 (Tuesday)

    10.00–10.30 - Opening lecture: ‘Remembrance and Solidarity in Europe: Challenges of Antagonistic Memories’   
    Georgiy Kassianov, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin

    10.30–12.15 - Panel Discussion 3: ‘National Interests and Transnational Solidarity’
    Luigi Cajani, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome
    Eva-Clarita Pettai, Imre Kertész Kolleg, Jena
    Aurora Ailincai, Council of Europe, Observatory on History Teaching in Europe, Strasbourg
    Géraldine Schwarz, journalist and author, Berlin
    Jan Rydel, Pedagogical University Kraków, ENRS Steering Committee, Kraków

    Moderation: Paul Ingendaay,
     journalist FAZ, Berlin

    12.15–13.15 Lunch Break

    13.15–14.45 - Parallel Sessions
    Experts’ talks and meeting with practitioners working in the field of historic education and memorial places

    Session 1: ‘Remembrance and Education on the Internet and in Other Media’

    Paweł Sawicki, Auschwitz Memorial, Katowice
    Marlene Wöckinger, TikTok creator, educator, Mauthausen Memorial, Linz
    Vjeran Pavlaković, University Rijeka, Department of Cultural Studies, Zagreb
    Alina Gorlova, film director and producer, Kyiv

    Moderation: Ulrich Herrmann, author and commissioning editor SWR, Baden-Baden

    Session 2: ‘Remembrance at Sites of Memory and in Urban Spaces’
    Axel Klausmeier, Berlin Wall Foundation, Berlin
    Chantal Kesteloot, Cegesoma/State Archives, Brussels
    Robert Kostro, Polish History Museum Warsaw, Warsaw
    József Mélyi, Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Fine Art
    Theory Department, Budapest

    Moderation: Constanze Itzel, House of European History, Brussels

    Session 3: ‘Remembrance and Dealing with Conflicted Topics and Parties’
    Oriol López-Badell, European Observatory on Memories (EUROM), Barcelona
    Valérie Rosoux, Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve
    Łukasz Kamiński, Ossolineum Library Wrocław, Wrocław

    Kamil Nedvědický, Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR), Prague

    Moderation: Andrea Despot, Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ), Berlin

    14.45–15.15 Coffee Break

    15.15–16.15 - Presentation of the Sessions by the Moderators and Closing Remarks
    Matthias Weber, BKGE, Oldenburg
    Rafał Rogulski, ENRS, Warsaw


    Participation in the conference is free of charge but registration is obligatory. To register  click here



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