Legacy of WWI

1919: A special blue carrier pigeon of peace

How to lose one third of your empire in 140 characters? Today we can hardly imagine the political sphere without daily tweets and constant online communication. Imagine how political life and our world would have looked if social media existed 100 years ago! What insights could we gain, which are different from the usual official statements? We are inviting you to a social experiment: During the EUSTORY Summit 2018 young people from Europe and beyond took the roles of the statesmen of the Paris Peace Conference 1919 to negotiate the Treaties of Trianon and Versailles. Let’s have a look behind the scenes of these negotiations which ended World War I and follow a special Twitter-thread.

“The absence of war is far from being peace“

There are so many present problems and pressing issues which are linked to World War I, the prime catastrophe of the 20th century. At the same time it shows that hardly anyone learns from history. Haris Huremagić (20), a prize winner of the Austrian history competition, has a Bosnian Background and demands honest efforts of modernization for Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

What is WWI to us? – Impressions of a German student from a celebration ceremony in the German Parliament

Lotta Schneidemesser (27) was invited to attend a national hour of remembrance at the German Bundestag on the occasion of the outbreak of WWI one hundred years ago. The event provided insights not only into recent debates related to war and peace in Europe but also into the positions taken by Germany and France in the past and present.          

“They all fell, one after the other”: Interview with Prof. Lucian Boia

“It is always easier to understand a historical event if you try to find a personal connection to it. When thinking about the century that passed since World War One (or soon-to-pass, rather), the first thought that crosses my mind is the temporal distance that separates me from the event. A hundred years is four times the life I have lived so far. From this perspective, the Great War doesn’t seem that far away from the generation I represent. Nevertheless, the two worlds – the present one and that of 1914 – are, at least in appearance, fundamentally different”, explains Vlad Badea (24) from Romania the relevance of WWI to him. Participating in the Europe14/14 HistoryCampus in Berlin allowed Vlad to further deepen his understanding of the complexity of WW1, by simulating the Ve...[Read More]

Remembering the First World War

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. For four days in May, four hundred young people from Europe and North Africa met in Berlin during the HistoryCampus to investigate the personal significance of the First World War for themselves, for their national identity and for modern day Europe as a joint peace project. Prior to the actual event, participants of the HistoryCampus were asked why they think it is important to remember the First World War. We would also like to invite everybody who did not participate in the event but who has an opinion on the importance of remembrance of WWI to post a comment here. Read excerpts of what participants of the HistoryCampus had to say:

All of a sudden, the homeland was gone – the legacy of World War I for Slovenia

In connection with the HistoryCampus Europe 14/14 in Berlin, young Europeans from 40 different countries dealt with the legacy of the Great War for their countries and for themselves. Tamara Čakič from Slovenia wanted to dig deeper into the consequences of WW I for her homecountry and interviewed Bojan Balkovec, professor at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana and at the same time one of the organizers of the Slovenian EUSTORY competition. They spoke about the war, its influence on Slovenia and the Slovenians as well as its current perception in society and in Slovenian history teaching. Bojan Balkovec particularly highlighted the importance of historical sights and monuments for educational purposes. Both of them were able to deepen their exchange during the HistoryCam...[Read More]

HistoryCampus – last day of workshops

Day 3: On the last day of the HistoryCampus workshop "Your World War One Story", Adnan, one of the participants, was kind enough to bring some food for thought. As Ruben's face clearly reveals, the already high morale was boosted and the donuts provided just the finishing touch of inspiration. The different groups have been working on short video clips about monuments. The stories combine different, often personal relations with the First World War and a common advice on how the war should be remembered in 2018. Workshop host Dominique Noordhuis was really impressed with the particpants' efforts. "Their openness and motivation created great group dynamics and I was really touched by their personal connections with World War One and by their thoughtful suggestions for...[Read More]

HistoryCampus – workshop progress report

Day 2: Members of the HistoryCampus workshop "Thinking in Pictures" finished their storyboard (you see it on the table) and they are busy turning their storyboard into a script for the animated video. This group's video will be about the impact of World War One on every day life at home and they are currently looking for photos and sounds to illustrate their story. "The atmosphere is very focused", says workshop leader Janosch Delcker. "They came in early today, half an hour before the other workshops started." Tina Gotthardt, the second workshop leader is confident that participants will finish their scripts today so they can start filming first thing in the morning. "We are on a very tight schedule but participants have come up with amazin...[Read More]

HistoryCampus – first day of workshops

Day 1: On their first day, members of the workshop "Express yourself! Looking at war from a theatrical angle", were doing a few basic theatrical exercises. "They need to get a feeling for how to work as a group", says Rolf Claussen, one of the two workshop leaders. Participants learned how to provide an impetus and also give others room for their impetuses. They learned to rely on the other members of the group, to support each other, to engage with each other. That is what they will need for the final performance when they will get impetuses from the audience and learn how to work with it. Two exciting days lie ahead of them!

A personal approach to the history of WWI

Fifteen young people from ten different countries enrolled in the workshop “Your World War One Story” during the HistoryCampus Europe 14/14 in Berlin which will start today, May 7th. Ineke Veldhuis Meester from the Netherlands is one of the workshop leaders and, as an Ambassador of EUROCLIO (European Association of History Educators), has worked with international groups before. Her group used the Young History Forum platform to introduce themselves to each other, to talk about their motivation to participate and about their background. Ineke is delighted to read about the mixed background of the participants. “This big diversity of origin will be such an asset for our workshop and essential for the development of a critical understanding of the culture of memory”, ...[Read More]

Learning how to think in pictures

“Analysing history and putting historical events in the form of an animation is anything but easy but it is worth the effort”, says Anna Sieväla from Finland. Anna enrolled in the workshop “Thinking in Pictures – Visualising Conclusions of the HistoryCampus” of the HistoryCampus Europe 14/14 in Berlin in May. Anna is one of fifteen group members from nine different countries. Members and workshop leaders have just begun to introduce themselves to each other on the YHF platform. Not with words but – true to the workshop format – with a drawing that says five things about themselves. During the workshop in Berlin, they will be producing RSA Animate Style Videos. RSA videos are short films which illustrate content and visualise interpretations, t...[Read More]

Between propaganda and historical truth

You can tell that the 100th anniversary of World War One (WWI) is approaching by observing the growing number of recent publications on the topic or by following the numerous debates about the reasons for the outbreak, about responsibility and guilt or about the impact of WWI on contemporary Europe. However, these debates look very different depending on which discussions you observe. Each country has different focal points and historical controversies that are subject to debates and revision. Here on the Young History Forum we want to dig a little deeper and give you an insight into debates happening in different countries today. We are starting with the event that is known to have set the ball rolling: The assassination of the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo on...[Read More]

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