The Körber History Forum in Berlin will address European historical views, remembrance and commemoration cultures which are relevant in the context of the political, social and economic challenges of the 21st century. As an interdisciplinary and cross-border discussion forum, the new conference format provides food for thought for the discovery of different and conflicting historical views and interpretations.
On the opening night, the Eastern European historian and publicist Karl Schlögel will deliver his speech to around 200 forum guests, entitled "The (re-)mapping of Europe. Borders and spaces in transition", setting the mood for the coming day.
The second day of the conference will be concerned with nationalism, migration and other major issues of our time
Why is there a growing number of people who, 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union in Europe, want to see the nation state along with its attendant borders and its own national identity (as opposed to supranational communities) strengthened again? This will be discussed by Marek A. Cichocki, Natolin European Centre Warschau, Judy Dempsey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Jaroslav Hrytsak, Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and Alexey I. Miller, European University, St. Petersburg.
Natalia Burlinova from the public initiative "Creative Democracy" in Moscow and Ivan Krastev from the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia will confront one another in the controversial discussion about the relevance of the (re-)interpretation of history in the dialogue between Russia and its European neighbours.
What can Europe learn from its own past with regard to the integration of refugees today? This will be discussed by François Gemenne, Paris School of International Affairs, Ulrich Herbert, Freiburg University, and Norman Naimark, Stanford University.
The extent to which Europe has now arrived in a post-secular age will then be discussed by Udo Di Fabio, a former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court and currently professor at the University of Bonn, Lamya Kaddor of the Liberal Islamic Association, Cologne, and the Israeli historian and author Fania Oz-Salzberger from the University of Haifa.
To conclude the day, the Indian writer Pankaj Mishra, winner of the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding, publisher Rebecca Nana Ayebia Clarke from Ghana, and Jürgen Zimmerer from Hamburg University will discuss how – beyond the economic impact of colonialism – the appropriate legal, historical, political and psychological treatment of European colonial crimes should look today.
The third day of the forum will focus entirely on history teaching
Four round tables of international experts will address innovative practical approaches to history teaching in various countries in Europe. What are the challenges? Which approaches have proved effective? Each of the round tables has its own focal topic and host: Thomas Lutz, Topography of Terror Foundation Berlin, will lead the discussion about dealing with perpetrator perspectives when examining experiences of violence in the 20th century; Stefan Troebst, University of Leipzig, will chair the discussion on the historical contextualisation and teaching of current European flight history/events; Basil Kerski, the European Solidarity Centre Gdansk, will discuss the role of freedom, resistance and civil movements in European transformation processes; and Thomas Krüger, Federal Agency for Civic Education, will preside over the debate on new ways of teaching history in the digital age.
"The purpose of the Körber History Forum is to highlight the relationships between history and politics and to increase international understanding of the political dimension of history," says Program Director Gabriele Woidelko, emphasising the objective of the newly created forum.
At the invitation of the Körber Foundation, the Körber History Forum will now bring well-known political, scientific and public figures, intellectuals and central multipliers from Germany and other European countries together in Berlin once a year to discuss the historical roots of current conflicts across borders and disciplines.