WHAT is “Different Wars”?
The goal of our project is to make an exhibition that will reveal the differences in the perception and narration of WW2 history in the modern high school textbooks of Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Russia. The exhibition is an on-going project and will be shown in Berlin, Prague, Moscow, Kostroma and Perm. Therefore it will be in English.
WHO are the organizers?
The exhibition will be organized by Working Group “Historical Memory and Education” of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum which was established in 2011 by non-governmental organisations as a permanent common platform. The Secretariat of EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is located at German-Russian Exchange Berlin.
These NGOs are participating in the project:
• Memorial International (Moscow)
• Youth Memorial (Perm)
• Kostroma Civic Initiative Support Center (Kostroma)
• Antikomplex (Prague)
• Gulag.cz Association (Prague)
• KARTA (Warsaw)
• Memorial Italy (Milan)
• Society of German-Russian Relationship (Münster)
HOW “Different Wars” will look like?
Exposition, together with text and visual materials, photo documentation, real textbooks of different countries, will give the viewer a vivid idea of the national memories. The exhibition will review, contrast and compare these various historical narratives presented in the high school textbooks on WW2 and altogether uncover significant aspects of remembrance. It will be in the form of a labyrinth through which the visitors are walking while reading about the perception of WW2.
WW2 still remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes of the European nations’ memories, whereas in Russia WW2 Victory is one of the most important pages of national history. Different countries have different points of view: on perpetrators and victims, the resistance movements and collaborators, consequences and memories of war.
The Anniversary of the end of the war attracts additional attention to the subject and gives us one more chance to go through history after 70 years. By knowing our own story is essential for coming to an agreement and understanding each other at the present and in the future.
WHY school textbooks?
The first images of the past, which are formed by the school education and history textbooks, are among the strongest. The historical narratives we grow up with have an enormous influence on our identity and perception of other countries and nations. Thus the study of historical textbooks is a good way to understand each other, to get familiar with conflicts and peculiarities of national historical memories.