Street Fights: White Fragility in the Debate on Colonial Legacies in the Streets of Berlin

Carl Peters, Adolf Lüderitz and Gustav Nachtigal were once colonial heroes of the German Empire. But as colonialism came to be recognized as an inherently unjust endeavor, a group of activists started a movement to rename the streets in Berlin honoring them, thereby sparking a fierce debate about historical and racial narratives that is symptomatic of the current state of race relations in Western societies at large. By Elias Hartmann Introduction The… Read More

Commemorating Communist Rule in Hungary: The Role of History in Times of Democratic Decline

Current political developments in Hungary and the country’s path towards democratic consolidation after the collapse of State Socialism prompt the question of how the past is reinterpreted in Hungarian politics today. How does Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s current Prime Minister, use history to shape the public discourse in his most recent public memorial speeches? Besides gaining knowledge of the past in order to understand the present, it is similarly important to understand its… Read More

Katyn 2? How the Tragedy of Smolensk is Used in Polish Politics

The crash of the Polish presidential plane near Smolensk in April 2010 was a tragic loss for Poland in its entirety and still haunts the country today. This essay sets out to investigate how the disaster and the historically-laden site of Katyn has been and is used by political actors in Poland. By Florian F. Christ   Nine years since the crash of Poland’s presidential plane, the tragedy continues to haunt Polish… Read More

Orbán and the Hungarian Holocaust: Historical Distortion for Political Gain?

Under Viktor Orbán’s rule, the history of the Holocaust has increasingly been distorted. By denying and misrepresenting the crucial facts of the Holocaust in Hungary, the aim is to rehabilitate the Hungarian collaborationist government of Admiral Miklós Horthy, the Regent of Hungary during Hitler’s Third Reich, and cleanse the historical record of the Nazi era. In order to explore Hungary’s process of coming to terms with its past, this essay analyses the… Read More

Ein literarischer Brückenschlag. Zum Tod von Aharon Appelfeld

Anfang Januar verstarb der israelische Schriftsteller Aharon Appelfeld im Alter von 85 Jahren. In unzähligen Romanen warf er einen Blick auf die untergegangene Welt seiner Eltern und Großeltern. Ein Rückblick auf das Leben und Schreiben eines Menschen, der Brücken schlug. An einem beliebigen Abend in der ersten Januarwoche des neuen Jahres 2018 traf ich zwei Freunde und Kollegen. Wir saßen bei Kaffee und Wein in einem Kaffeehaus in Tel Aviv nahe des… Read More

Steckt Europa in der Krise?

Dortmund Hauptbahnhof im Juli 2016. Am Bahnsteig befinden sich bisher noch wenige Reisende als ich ihn betrete. Eine Frau spricht mich an. Sie fragt auf Englisch, ob dies das richtige Gleis für den ICE nach Berlin sei. Sie hält einen riesigen, ungeordneten Stapel Papiere in der Hand. Ihr Gesicht sieht müde aus, ihr Make-up ist verwischt. Sie steht sehr nahe am Bahnsteigrand. Eine Mitarbeiterin der Deutschen Bahn wird deshalb auf sie aufmerksam… Read More

Poland – Quo vadis?

„The European Union was a dream of few. It became a hope for many. Today it is a necessity for all of us”.[1] Already in 1954, the former German chancellor Konrad Adenauer declared this still having the echoes of World War II in his mind. From today’s perspective and from my point of view, being a member of a young European generation, I look differently on Konrad Adenauer’s Europe than he did…. Read More

Placing All Bets on Memorials: Memory Mania Goes Balkans

As Confederate war memorials are being removed or relocated across the United States, Ana Milosevic looks at “memory mania” in the Balkans — and the various meanings and purposes of monuments. At a recent symposium on European remembrance, I asked three experts in dealing with the past about the road to reconciliation. Does it begin as a political process or should it be initiated by a collective need to come to terms with… Read More

The “Spirit of 1975” in Spain: Lost Forever?

Three decades after the widespread political crisis that affected Europe after the Second World War, Spain abandoned its isolation and joined firmly the European project. After 1975, the future of Spain was inextricably linked to the successful experience of economic progress and democracy pursued by its European partners. Yet what happens when the EU seems nowadays anything but a success? Is Europe no longer a model for Spain, nor the solution to… Read More

The European Nations in Paradise

  Once upon a time, the European Nations went to war, but instead of the battlefield, they walked into a paradise. After entering paradise, some Nations felt a little bit tired from their previous war and thought, “We wish we could be more peaceful”. Then, these Nations saw a beautiful and peaceful community. Within it everything seemed wonderful. So, they entered the community and found peace, economic and political co-operation. After a… Read More

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