“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 Read more…

Europäische Erinnerungskulturen 2014,Looking back on the ifa Conference for European Commemoration 2014

The ifa Conference “European Commemoration – Europäische Erinnerungskulturen� brought together an international mix of experts with various professional backgrounds. A short video summary.

Video: Commemoration in foreign affairs

In his address to the organizers and participants of the conference “European Commemoration� Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier emphasized the importance of cross-border commemoration for international politics.

Video: The future of European commemoration

At the end of the “European Commemoration�-conference the Chairs of the four workshop panels “Culture�, “Society�, “Education� and “Science� summarized the central issues, ideas and visions discussed in their workshops.

Video: “This must be a permanent process�

What do you expect from this conference? What is your personal approach to “European commemoration�? These questions were asked to several participants of the European Commemoration conference. The answers are as diverse as the participants were.

12-17-1935_0086Impressions of the public Closing Ceremony

Photos: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Dietmar Gust, 2014.



Video: “Beware of politicians who propagate commemoration�

Professor Pim den Boer (Chair of European Cultural History, University of Amsterdam) talks about the discussions and results that came up in the workshop panel “Society�, which he chaired during the “European Commemoration� conference.

Video: “A very interesting learning experience for all of us.�

After two days of discussions, workshops and fresh input from participants from all over the globe, Professor Alan Kramer (Trinity College Dublin) told us which experiences interested and surprised him the most. In this interview he shares insights in reports from Russia and China and talks about the changes in commemoration brought about by 2014, this year Read more…

Impressions of the Conference, December 17th

Photos: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Wolfgang Borrs, 2014.

Video: Discussion with Gunnar Dedio, Alan Kramer, Andrea Thilo

After the screening of “14 – Diaries of the Great War, Episode 1�, a discussion took place with the producer of the film series, Gunnar Dedio, and Keynote speaker Professor Alan Kramer. Headed by journalist and moderator Andrea Thilo, a lively discussion emerged between Professor Kramer, Gunnar Dedio and the audience.

Video: Keynote “Too early to say?�

In his whirlwind keynote “Too early to say?� Professor Alan Kramer, European History at Trinity College Dublin, took the audience through 100 years of global history.

Video: “We cannot have a harmonious european picture�

Professor Heidemarie Uhl (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna) discusses commemoration from an academic point of view. In her role as chairwoman of the workshop panel “Science� she points out major issues in commemoration-related scholarship and cross-border commemoration in general.

Video: “Rediscover a new story…�

Prize-winning author and Professor Vesna Goldsworthy, Kingston University London, chairs the workshops on “Culture� during the 2014 European Commemoration conference. Being born in Serbia, but living in the UK for 30 years now, Goldsworthy knows just how different national commemoration is organized within Europe.

Video: “What we need is critical questioning!�

The Dutch historian and founder of EUROCLIO (European Association of History Educators) Joke van der Leeuw-Roord is especially concerned with cross-border approaches to history in education. In this interview she talks about the need for innovative, multi-national material and her overall expectations for the conference “European Commemoration�.

Between personal memories and grand narratives

“The aim of the conference is to show different perspectives on commemoration� – when ifa Representative Ronald Grätz took the stage for his welcoming remarks in the Europasaal last night, the agenda was set for this year’s conference ‘Erinnerungskulturen – European Commomoration’.

Impressions of the public Inaugural Event

Photos: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Wolfgang Borrs, 2014.

Video: “Remembrance as duty�

Anna Kaminsky is Director of the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship. In this interview she talks about chances and challenges concerning European commemoration in 2014.

“Excessive remembrance is a modern phenomenon�

Introductory remarks by Prof Dr Edgar Wolfrum, University of Heidelberg, Scientific Consultant: “Excessive remembrance is a modern phenomenon. Of course remembrance also existed in the early modern period, but ‘Lethe’ and the art of forgetting were much more dominant at that time. Every peace treaty drawn up at the end of a conflict included ‘forgive Read more…

How can we manage to create a “European space of memory� ?

Frank Morawietz works as an intercultural trainer and project manager. He has coordinated the implementation and development of the South East European Initiative of the French-German Youth Office (Deutsch Französisches Jugendwerk / Office franco-allemand pour la Jeunesse) since 2000. In this interview we discussed his expectations for this year’s conference and the importance of a Read more…

Video: “A non-national way of looking at history�

Gunnar Dedio is a documentary film maker and founder of Looks Film Productions. In our interview he talks about personal memories and non-national ways of commemoration.

Welcome to the ifa Conference for European Commemoration 2014!

Remembrance is a process related to society as a whole. It offers a chance for a virulent dialogue both between cultures and generations on the future of Europe.

Video: “We should try to find the common strains of European history�

Frank Drauschke is the co-founder of the private historical research institute Facts & Files in Berlin, founded in 1999.

What will be the common historical points of reference?

Dr Odila Triebel is Head of the Department Dialogue and Research, Culture and Foreign Policy at the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and one of the organizers of this year’s conference “European Commemoration 2014″. Prior to the event, we wanted to find out what is particularly challenging in organizing an international conference, how the choice of Read more…

Exhibition OPEN SPACES

12th–19th December 2014 in the atrium of the Federal Foreign Office Monday to Friday 8.00 a.m.–7.00 p.m. Free entry


Sunday, 14th December 2014, 3 p.m. J’accuse (F 1919) is a French silent film directed by Abel Gance. It juxtaposes a romantic drama with the background of the horrors of World War I

The Halfmoon Files

Sunday, 7th December 2014, 4 p.m. In World War I, 30,000 prisoners were interned in a camp close to Berlin, called the “Half Moon Camp�. They were Muslim Arabs, Indians and Africans who had fought for the British and French armies.