On 22-24 September 2017, the Working Group (WG) "Historical Memory and Education" met in Berlin to discuss its future work and opportunities for upcoming projects. Ten members of NGOs from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Russia visited several institutions and museums in the German capital as well as had intensive rounds of discussion.
After the major success of the “Different Wars” Exhibition, the WG has been searching for topics and ideas for a new project. As agreed at the Forum’s General Assembly in Helsinki, the future project will be devoted to the topic of (forced) migration with a historical approach. The study tour should help the group members to explore ideas and develop them into upcoming projects.
To get some inspiration, the Working Group visited two memorial sites, which deal with the issue of migration in history. On 23 September 2017, the group came to the Memorial Site “Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde”, which showed how the Federal Republic of Germany dealt with the question of refugees from the GDR. But it also dispalys, how the issue of migration currently effects Germany. The second excursion to the German-Russian Museum Berlin Karlshorst let the group explore the reasons for the post-war migration.
Maja Konstantinović of Antikomplex (Prague, Czech Republic) noted: ‘This study tour was an important step forward for our Working Group. Visiting different museums and memorial places in Berlin gave us major impulses for the following discussions and projects.’
‘Such events play a fundamental role in reinforcing collaboration between civil societies from different countries, one of the main tasks that the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum has been successfully implementing,’ added Štefan Čok of Memorial Italia (Milan, Italy).
The outcome of the study tour was that the bounds within the group were strengthened and ideas for projects developed. There is still a long track in front of the group, but the corner stone is laid and the future work of the Working Group is on a good way.