Gabriele Woidelko, Hamburg, member
the history network for young Europeans, currently connects 19 civic
organizations from 19 European countries.
The mandate of EUSTORY is to
view European history from the grass roots and to recognize the vast diversity
of experience. Opposing the abuse of history as an ideological weapon, EUSTORY
emphasizes the view of history as a workshop for intercultural understanding
in Europe. EUSTORY is therefore not only a meaningful initiative of historical
grass-roots work in Europe, but also makes an important and pioneering
contribution to European efforts toward peace and tolerance.
EUSTORY means European history. All countries have misunderstandings due to
historical conflicts. We have to go beyond fear and stop thinking of the other
as the enemy. Schools must be open to every one – providing an intercultural
history – a European perspective on history. Telling and listening, exchanging
and respecting our individual stories and thus acknowledging the importance of
talking about our different interpretations of history.
We think that history is the initial part of our European identity and
therefore should be more prominent in the agenda of the European Commission,
this in order to educate future responsible European Citizens.
EUSTORY participants gave presentations that itself triggered off discussions on
the following questions linked to history and identity in Europe:
regional versus national identities
b) differences between history and
c) the danger of legitimizing conflicts from history
cultural and linguistic minorities/majorities (balance and disbalance of
minority politics). This was especially discussed in the context of the Baltic
e) The meaning of borders and the result of border changes on the
lives, mentalities and identities of people (mixing and unmixing of
f) Different possibilities of communicating historical
into nowadays societies in Europe.
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