History

Voting4Europe: “I feel more European than German”

The European Union heads for the ballots in May. What current and future challenges is the European Parliament facing? And how did the elected body develop in the first place? Our editor Gregor talked to the committed European Mechthild Roos, who is doing research on exactly these questions.

Understanding History and Experiencing the Past

In early summer the third Körber History Forum (KHF) took place in Berlin, Germany. It brought together 200 leading actors from politics, science and public life, intellectuals and opinion leaders from Germany, Europe, and the Middle East. Our author Linn Kreutschmann shares her impressions and thoughts while attending it, reflecting on how the reception of history changes if you have a personal connection to it.

Catalonia: Outbreak of illegal nationalism or oppression of a democratic movement?

People being beaten up by the police just for trying to vote, a government which declares a referendum binding even though parts of the electorate where not able to vote and a large number of ballots where confiscated, and finally nearly the whole democratic elected government either in prison or in exile – the events around the Catalan independence referendum where unexpected and incomparable to any political development the old EU member states experienced since the end of the dictatorships in the South. Camilla Crovella from Italy tries to find explanations for these developments and looks also for future solutions by asking students both from Catalonia and Spain about their views and opinions. Joaquim Candel (22), Economics student from Barcelona and active member of the Catalan Moveme...[Read More]

What was most inspiring at the Summit so far?

Jonas, Denmark Sara, Slovenia Ronja, Germany Florian, Germany Bohdana, Yuliia & Krystyna, Ukraine Andreas, Belgium  

Why is history important to you?

Driven by their passion for history more than 100 young Europeans made their way to Berlin, against all odds: storm Xavier devastated northern parts of Germany cutting of train connections to the German capital. Five participants told us why history is important to them.  Anete Kalnina, Latvia   Elvira Kinzhaeva, Russia   Andreas Theys, Belgium   Sarah Scott, Ireland   Pauline Husemann, Germany                  

Heroes of freedom – An important anniversary in the fight against Mafia

Mafia has always been a strong presence in the Italian country. Some Italians, instead of accepting the situation, raised their head and proved that Mafia can be defeated with a constant fight for legality. Among them were the two magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, murdered by the organised criminality 25 years ago. Viola Berti, a young Italian, describes the importance of the Anniversary and the two men’s legacy for her and in contemporary Italy. As a young Italian citizen, I often hear my country addressed abroad as the homeland of Mafia, criminality and corruption. The last out of several times was around a month ago. Some American friends I met during my vacation in England told me that the Italians invented the organised criminality and exported it around the world. Th...[Read More]

The “re-unification” belt. When human solidarity overcomes military division.

Remembering World War II is difficult in many countries. In Italy, however, the narration of “us” against “them” is even more difficult, since the country was not occupied by enemies, but Benito Mussolini was a strong ally of Hitler’s Germany even before the war. Only when a new government ousted Mussolini in 1943, German army occupied Northern Italy. In this part of the country, partisans raised and fought to release their country. Camilla Crovella’s family keeps a personal treasure as memory of those fights. When my grandfather and his sister are describing this two years of occupation, known as the “Resistance”, they mention a general atmosphere of fear, poverty and lack of information. My grandfather was a primary school student during war times, his sister already was in h...[Read More]

Music in the service of patriotism: Can songs divide us?

“Music unites people of different cultural backgrounds” is a phrase that one can often hear in speeches. Yes, music connects people. It can enrich a person and provide confidence, motivation and a sense of belonging. But what happens if you combine songs, collective memory and national identity? Milena from Serbia describes how the question about patriotism and music can lit up a burning discussion.

Polish-Czech relations: Stereotypes, mistrust and misunderstandings put into practise

Last year Polish historian Michal Przeperski published his first book Unbearable Burden of Brotherhood. The book deals with Polish-Czech conflicts in the 20th century but takes also a more thorough look on the background of the troublesome relations of these two nations. The conflicts between Poles and Czechs are numerous, but in the name of learning from the past we wanted to ask Michal, is there something to learn from this quarrelsome history. In his opinion there is – and it’s a quite simple one.

The sound of childhood

Grandma’s old record player and a collection of vinyl records, encompassing variety of genres, from poems, operas to pop songs, gave sound to Elena’s early childhood in Russia. And how does a memory of your childhood sound like?

United in Diversity? Identities in Europe

The concept of »identity« is difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, 25 young Europeans tried to approach this complex term during EUSTORY’s History Camp »United or Divided in Diversity? National Identities in Europe« in Tbilisi, Georgia (2 – 8 October 2016). The students sounded out common grounds as well as contrary convictions when discussing their understanding of »identity«. However, they all agreed that continuing a dialogue about these varying conceptions is of the utmost importance. Because in the end, »(…) the diversity is what unites us«, states Elīna Jātniece (18) from Latvia. Find out how six participants of the History Camp in Tbilisi have approached their own identity.

When the Tanks Broke Free

Marching soldiers, cheering crowds, tanks and cannon fire. The martial and enthusiastic manner of the May 9 parade in St. Petersburg, celebrating the victory over Nazi-Germany and the end of World War II, reminded Daniela, who is spending a voluntary social year in Russia, of the horror of war, triggering tears of fear and an intense stream of thoughts. 

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