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]
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
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 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.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Bosnian war. In April 1992, after the Bosnian parliament declared independence from what remained of former Yugoslavia, Serb forces began to siege the city of Sarajevo. The war soon spread across the country and lasted over three-and-a-half years and claimed more than 100 000 victims. We asked people from Bosnia and Serbia to share their memories about the beginning of the war.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Iron Curtain not only had immense political implications for Europe, but for many also on a personal level. For Eleonore Dupuis it meant to eventually get the chance to search for her father, a former Soviet soldier in occupied Austria.
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.
Memory Suitcase took a couple of months of vacation, but only to come back to you fresher and more interesting than ever! We made a new, warmer and more welcoming guise for all your memories. And since writings and pictures felt too tight for the rich world of our personal heritage, we are introducing our first audio Memory Suitcase. In the first edition of our new Memory Suitcase series, we’re bringing you the breath of the South and the story of desert rose. And all that from the middle of Balkans. Let Milan tell you his exotic story!
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?