“History also casts light on the present”

The ifa Conference “European Commemoration – Europäische Erinnerungskulturen” 2014 took place from December 16th to 17th. An international mix of participants – citizenship educators, historians, journalists and more – got together in the halls of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin to discuss current challenges in dealing with European Commemoration. This video summary gives an impression of the various workshops, panels, disucssions, lectures and get togethers of the conference.

The year 2014 was marked by several commemorations. Especially the First World War was a source of reference all over Europe. Ifa’s Conference for European Commemoration 2014 reflected this commemoration process and despite the conferences historical focus, all topics were particularly discussed with a glance on the future: How should matters of European Commemoration be taught and communicated in the years to come? How can we make sure that the spirit of this ‘year of commemoration’ will live on in the future?

Distinguished scholars such as Aleida Assman, Heidemarie Uhl, Alan Kramer, Pim den Boer, Joke van der Leeuwd-Roord and many more provided the conference and the workshops alike with valuable input and guidance.

“There cannot be and there will not be a shared memory of the 20th century in Europe any time soon, because our forefathers experienced this history too differently”, Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier said in his speech leading up to the closing panel discussion.  There was widespread agreement that this will indeed not be necessary as long as we all engage in the process of remembrance together.

If you did not have the chance to be present at the conference yourself, this summary is your chance to catch a glimpse of the various workshops, panels, disucssions, lectures and get togethers of the conference. If you were lucky enough to have been there yourself you can take the chance to recall some of the highlights. Enjoy!

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