The young participants of our last History Camp came up with yet another interesting question on their backpacking tour through the three out of four Visegrad states. Namely, they wondered about people’s reaction to the following situation: “What if… you woke up 30 years ago in a communist regime? How would you react?”
25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Anna from Moscow finds herself caught in the middle of a heated debate in her family: the life during the Soviet Union – lack of personal freedom or a system of security and solidarity? Why is it perceived so differently? And what can her generation learn from the past?
However unpleasant the circumstances, there will always be people who would be proponents of the past, whatever the regime or the political system at that time. This seems to be the case especially in post-communist countries, for which the transition into a democracy does not always go smoothly. In light of this, during our trip to the Czech Republic, we asked citizens of Prague the question:‘If you could bring back one item from the times of Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR) what would it be and why?’ in the hope of creating a memory suitcase, which offers a look back at the past through the eyes of ordinary people.
Milan, originally from Serbia, reflects different perspectives on his year of birth 1989 and the following process of a unifying, but also a dividing Europe. While what we called East and West was coming together, the Balkans had to struggle with war. The author describes a crack of the generation gap he found himself in and asks the question: Can people who created a ‘dream Europe’ in 1989 and those whom they created it for write their personal history together? Children of the revolution?
On the occasion of the 24th birthday of Slovenia, Tamara looks back at the evolution of her country. The revolutionary spirit of the beginning has vanished, corruption and failing social system dominate everyday life and throw shadow on today’s national holiday – a high time for a reset!
1989 marked a change of epoch in Europe. Twenty-five years ago, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Germany and Europe saw the fall of totalitarian regimes and borders. Like in a relay, the movements for freedom and independence in Central and Eastern Europe handed over the baton, with Poland starting in spring and Romania feeling the change in December. Depending on where they lived, Europeans’ perceptions of one and the same year differ widely. Five young Europeans from the EUSTORY network explain what that year of change and the following time of political upheaval meant to them personally – besides the fact they all have in common: 1989 is their year of birth. Helena from Slovenia, Milan from Serbia, Vlad from Romania, Ivor from Estonia and Juliane from Denmark describe the pers...[Read More]
On June 4th, 2014, the Presidents of Germany, Poland, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Hungary commemorated the start of the Peaceful Revolutions in Eastern Europe twenty-five years ago. Twenty-five university students born in the year 1989 were invited to attend the event in Warsaw. Sarah Grandke, who won several awards in the German History Competition and participated in award winners’ academies, had the opportunity to accompany German Federal President Joachim Gauck on his visit to Poland as she was recommended by the Körber Foundation. Read more about Sarah’s experiences and impressions in Warsaw.