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SYMPOSIUM - Violence In 20th-Century European History: Commemorating, Documenting, Educating

From 6 to 8 June 2017, the 6th symposium organised by the European network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) will be held in Brussels. It will be dedicated to violence in 20th century European history. Three major aspects will be considered: the commemorative, the documentary, and finally, the education perspective. 

Besides the ENRS, seven other partners have joined forces for this purpose. Among them CegeSoma, but also the Maison d'Histoire de l'Europe and the Herder Institut in Marburg.


Is there a Common Commemorative European Culture ?
Since 2012, the ENRS has pondered the question of the construction of a European memory and a common European narrative perspective. To this end, it meets on a yearly basis as part of the symposiums of the researchers and institutions passionate about European history. The past meetings were largely dominated by the wave of commemorative events and the questions these events raised in a European perspective. Therefore, in 2014, the focus was not just on the 100th anniversary of the Great War, but also on the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Throughout these three events, the difficult construction of a European memory inevitably arises. Each state has of course integrated these events in a national perspective which cannot easily be ignored or integrated. The same considerations were reflected on during the 2015 symposium, dedicated to controversial categories of the Second World War, whether they be actors, victims, losers or onlookers. The “reading” of these categories has not just changed over time and throughout historiography, but can also vary according to the individual trajectories or the scope of our analysis.


 To Commemorate, Document and Teach the Violence of European History

The goal of the 2017 Symposium is to understand the phenomenon of violence in its theoretical dimensions through the contributions of several experts, but also to consider the question via panel presentations dedicated to memorial aspects. Finally, the possibility to address violence through the use of archives and other documentary sources, and the integration of the question in education, will be examined. The last session will concern the concept of reconciliation.


During one of the sessions of the symposium, the House of European History, which will open its doors next May, will be presented. Another session will provide the opportunity to the participants to (re)visit one of the strongholds of Belgian concentration camp violence at the site of Breendonk. A symposium not to miss !


To register, go to the following link http://www.europeanremembrance.enrs.eu/edition2017/register

Chantal Kesteloot