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Mitigation of difficult history

- good practices in the French-German region

 

The second international study meeting which was organized within the framework of ‘TEIN – platform for cross-border dialogue’ co-financed from Polish-Czech INTERREG V-A Program, and took place from 7th to 8th November in the French-German Border region, has brought its participants many interesting experiences.

During the first day representatives of institutions involved in the project (‘Olza’Association, Institut EuroSchola, Centre for Cross Border Studies, Euro-Institut, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, University of Girona and University of Perpignan) had an opportunity to attend the midmorning forum concerning different issues with regards French-German cooperation as: historical perspective of the cooperation in the Upper Rhine Region; Franco-German relations as a tool-box? On the transferability of reconciliation and structured cooperation; Le Mémorial Alsace-Moselle and “Inter-religio” project presentation.

 

The afternoon session was dedicated to site visit in the “Centre International Albert Schweitzer” – educational youth hostel financed by The National Service for the Maintenance of German Military Tombs. It carries out its projects of intercultural mediation, historical transmission and political and civic training. Moreover it collects and investigates the memories of families as well as offers a variety of pedagogical modules so that teachers can cater any stay to their own personal needs and desires.

The Centre links also historical questions to topical questions as far as possible, as well as to philosophical and ethical questions. During the visit its participants had a possibility to see German Military Cemetery 1939-1945 in Niederbronn-les Bains which is a part of the Centre. In the chaos of the fighting in the north-east of France during the Second World War, the fallen soldiers were initially buried in more than 600 communes in the region. In the early 1960s, following the French and German military burial agreement, the German soldiers were exhumed and transferred to the German Military Cemetery. The inauguration took place on 1 October 1966. 15835 people, mostly soldiers, have their last resting place there. This number has steadily increased since the inauguration, since it still happens today that people find human remains dating from the Second World War. There are approximately 1500 non-identified soldiers, 2200 SS soldiers, 17 different nationalities are represented, of which 88 Hungarians as well as people with different careers: soldiers, civilists, prisoners of war and war criminals. This study visit left traces on the awareness of all its participants.

The second day of the meeting was marked with meritorical and technical issues concerning ‘TEIN – platform for cross-border dialogue’ project as well as the approach to work on joint action plan with respect to use potential of selected TEIN members in order to effectively cooperate and be prepared for the new programming period.

The last international study meeting involving project partners will be held in Polish-Czech border on February 2018.

 

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