European Remembrance - Symposium of European Institutions dealing with 20th Century History

2013 Berlin

How much transnational cooperation does European remembrance require? Caesuras and parallels in Europe

Speakers' bios

Thursday afternoon

Keith Lowe is a British author and historian, studied English Literature at the University of Manchester. For several years worked as a history editor and 2012 become a full-time writer. His first novel Tunnel Vision (2001) was shortlisted for the Author's Club First Novel Award. Lowe has published two critically acclaimed history books about the Second World War and its aftermath. Inferno (2007) described the firebombing of Hamburg by the British and American air forces in 1943 and Savage Continent (2012), a history of Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, which covers the lawlessness, chaos, and unconstrained violence that gripped the continent in the years 1944 to 1949. It covers a variety of controversial issues such as postwar vengeance, ethnic cleansing, and the many civil wars which took place across Europe. His books have been translated into several languages.

Andrzej Paczkowski - Polish historian, member of the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance, member of advisory and historical board of the European Solidarity Centre, works at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Collegium Civitas. Granted scholarships include: Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (1996), Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC (2000-2001), Norwegian Nobel Institute (2002). Author of many works about modern Polish history, among others: The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom, strategy and tactics of the ruling camp, July 1980 - January 1982, co-author of The Black Book of Communism.

Friday morning

Dan Diner is a German historian, head of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture and professor of History at the University of Leipzig as well as Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a regular member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig. Has been awarded several prizes, among others: Ernst Bloch Prize of the city of Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Capalbio Prize and lately the 2013 Leipzig Science Award. Visiting professor at various universities and research institutions at home and abroad as well as a member of various scientific committees.

György Dalos is a Hungarian writer and historian. He studied history at the Lomonossov University in Moscow. After his return to his hometown of Budapest, he worked as a museologist. In 1968 Dalos was accused of "Maoist activities" and received a profession and publication ban forcing him to work as an interpreter. In 1977 he was one of the founders of the opposition movement against the Communist regime in Hungary. In 1988/89 he was co-editor of the East German underground opposition paper "Ostkreuz". From 1995 till 1999 Dalos was head of the Institute for Hungarian Culture in Berlin. Since 2009,, he is a member of the International Council of Austrian Service Abroad. He received several prizes, the last being the 2010 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding.

Friday afternoon

Aleksandar Jakir is a Croatian historian and slavicist. He graduated in history and Slavic studies from Erlangen-Nürnberg University in Germany in 1993. Earned his doctoral degree in 1997 at the same University after defending his thesis Dalmatia between two World Wars. His main research fields include political, social, cultural history of Croatia and of countries that use to make up Yugoslavia, nation-building processes in East and South-East Europe. After different positions at German and Swiss universities, since 2007, he is a full time professor at the History Department of Split University in Croatia. He is dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split.

Jan Rydel is a Polish historian and researcher concerned with Central and Eastern Europe and Polish-German relations in the 19th and 20th centuries. Author of Politics of History in Federal Republic of Germany. The Legacy – The Ideas – The Practice (2011) and Polish Occupation of North Western Germany, 1945–1948 (2000). Until 2010, professor at the Jagiellonian University, currently professor at the Pedagogical University of Cracow. Between 2001 and 2005, he headed the Office of Culture, Science, and Information of the Polish Embassy in Berlin. Since 2008, he is the Polish representative on the board of the Polish-German Foundation for Science. He is a voluntary custodian of the Rydlówka Manor Museum of Young Poland in Kraków. He is the chairman of the Steering Committee of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) and coordinator of the Polish party to ENRS.

Oldřich Tůma is a Czech historian and director of the Institute of Contemporary History at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Dr Tůma is one of the most renowned Czech historians focusing on the post-war history of Czechoslovakia. His recent work deals with analysis of totalitarian regimes and the mechanisms of their functioning. At the Institute of Contemporary History he has supervised numerous oral history projects that aim to reconstruct historical memory of the period after 1948 in Czechoslovakia. Member of the Scientific Council of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity since January 2013.

Saturday morning

Pavel Tychtl - Czech, studied sociology and social history at Charles University Prague and New School for Social Research in New York. Worked at the Czech Academy of Sciences, later directed the Czech Organisation for Aid to Refugees. Since 2005 at the European Commission responsible for the remembrance activities.

Wolf Kaiser - German, head of the Education Department at the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference and the deputy head of the House of the Wannsee Conference, where he works since 1992. Since 2001, he is member of the German delegation at the "Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research".

Hans Altendorf is a German Jurist, studied Law, Education, Political Sciences, and German Studies in Hamburg, finished with state exams in law and education. In 1980, he joined the Hamburg administration, from 1983 conducted activities in the field of general management with a focus on legal issues and youth services (most recently as head of the "youth services and family support"). From 1993 till August 2001, Senate Director and head of the Office of Administration. Currently, director of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives (Bundesbeauftragten für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik).

Johannes Bach Rasmussen - Dane, founder of the Baltic Initiative and Network. Educated as architect and landscape and town planner. Has been working as a professional planner in nearly all of Eastern European and former Communist countries with projects supported by the Danish State, EU, the World Bank, and Council of Europe. Today working as secretary of the Baltic Initiative and Network.

Jiří Sýkora is a Slovak sociologist. He joined the Visegrad Fund in 2006 and has been responsible for public relations and the Visegrad+ program which facilitates projects in the fields of democratization and transformation in non-EU countries of the Western Balkans. He studied sociology and media studies at Masaryk University in Brno and social anthropology at Central European University in Budapest. Before joining the Fund he worked at the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, Czech Republic.

Vesna Teršelič – born in Slovenia, lives in Croatia, director of Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past. Former director of Center for Peace Studies in Zagreb and coordinator of Antiwar Campaign Croatia. In her activist work she focused on linking dealing with the past, human rights advocacy, and peace building. Lecturer in peace and women's studies. Publications include handbooks on facilitation and mediation. Member of Coordination Council of Coalition for Regional Commission on Establishing the Facts about War Crimes and other Serious Past Human Rights Violations (Coalition for RECOM). Right Livelihood Award Laureate in 1998 and Nobel Prize Nominee in 1997).

Saturday afternoon

Matthias Weber is a German historian and germanist. Since May 2004 he has served as the director of the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) in Oldenburg. He was awarded his habilitation in Contemporary and German Regional History by the University of Oldenburg. Since 1999, has been an associate professor. His main areas of research have been the history of Silesia, early modern history, the Habsburg monarchy, and German regional history. He is a member of the Silesian Historical Commission and of the J.G. Herder Research Council, which supports research of the history and cultural history of Eastern Europe. He is the German coordinator at European Network Remembrance and Solidarity.

Gesine Schwan is a German professor and politician. As of 1971 assistant professor at the Department of Political Science. From 1977 till 1999 professor of Political Science at the Free University Berlin and from October 1999 till September 2008 President of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). In 2004 and 2009 candidate for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. From 2005 till 2009 coordinator German-Polish Relations for the Federal Government. In 20110 co-founded and presided over the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance.