On 21 March 2016, the opening of the Russian version of the Exhibition "Different Wars: National School Textbooks on World War II" took place at Memorial International in Moscow (5/10, Karetni Riad) attended by around 100 persons – historians, NGO representatives including Forum members, officials, media, and the general public.
The keynote address was prepared by Arseni Roginsky, Board Chair at Memorial International. Welcome speeches were held by Vygaudas Ušackas, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Russian Federation; Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights; Hubert Knirsch, Head of the Political Department at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Russian Fedeation; Vera Dubina, Desk Officer for Civil Society and History at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Moscow.
The “Different Wars” Exhibition explores differences in perception and narration of the history of the World War II by comparing modern high school textbooks from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia. It was initiated by the Working Group “Historical Memory and Education” of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum in close cooperation with historians, civil society activists, history teachers, and enthusiasts from all the countries involved.
The Russian version of the exhibition was prepared in collaboration with Memorial International, where it will stay until 30 April 2016, and supported by the European Commission, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
A video report from the opening (in Russian) may be watched at the Memorial’s YouTube Channel and on the "Dozhd" Channel. Further media items in English, German, Italian, and Russian may be seen in the press section on the Forum’s website. In this regard, a report by the "Rossiya 24" Channel, whose journalists distorted the facts and abused them for the benefit of a scandal, was a real blot on the landscape. The official reaction of the International Memorial is available on the Forum’s website. The report didn’t spoil the whole positive perception of the exhibition, though.
Apart from Moscow, the "Different Wars" Exhibition is supposed to be displayed in Russia also in such cities as Kostroma, Perm, St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, and Yekaterinburg. The English version instead will be shown later on in all the other countries involved.