Forced Migration in European Memory: Recent Processes of Institutionalization and Musealization

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 5:30pm
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Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

The project of a 'Centre against Expulsions' proposed in 2000 by the  German Union of Expellees in order to commemorate the fate of some 12  million Germans who fled or were forced to leave Central and Eastern  Europe in and after 1945 caused a fierce Polish-German media  controversy with a fourfold result: (1) The governments in Warsaw and  Berlin together with the ones in Bratislava and Budapest agreed in  2004 to found the 'European Network Remembrance and Solidarity' in  order to deal with the tragic history of Europe in the 20th century in  a consensual way; (2) the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of  Europe proposed to set up a 'European Remembrance Centre of Victims of  Forced Population Movements and Ethnic Cleansing' in 2005; (3) in  2007, the Polish government decided to found a 'Museum of the Second  World War' in Gdansk with the aim to put the Polish view on recent  history into a European context; and in 2008 the German government  erected a federal Foundation 'Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation' in  Berlin which was tasked to design a permanent exhibition on the fate  of the expelled Germans again in the context of Europe's 20th century  history. Whereas more often than not the national memories of Germans,  Poles and other Europeans clash over World War II and its  consequences, the very fact that in Central Europe a bilateral or  multilateral discourse on these sensitive topics is feasible is a  remarkable post-1989 improvement.

Stefan Troebst is a historian by training and since 1999 professor of  East European cultural studies at the University of Leipzig as well as  deputy director of the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of  East-Central Europe (GWZO). Previously, he has been founding director  of the Danish-German European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg,  member of the OSCE missions to Moldova and Macedonia and associate  professor of contemporary East European history at the Free University  of Berlin. Among his recent publications are Culture of Remembrance,  Cultural History, Historical Regions. East-Central Europe in Europe  (2013, in German), The Macedonian Century. From the Beginning of the  National-Revolutionary Movement to the Ohrid Agreement, 1893-2001  (2007,in German), and Radical Ethnic Movements in Contemporary Europe  (2003, co-editied with Farimah Daftary).