EAK Reports

Snapshots

The EAK Programme "The Dialogue of Little Homelands"

Implemented by the European Academy of Krzyżowa, this project concerns local history in Lower Silesia between 1945 and 1989, in particular the immediate vicinity of the centre in Krzyżowa (mainly such towns as Swidnica, Dzierżoniów, Bielawa). Local communities are the places where Polish-German reconciliation, like many other phenomena of social life, acquires the most concrete and tangible forms. The knowledge of one's own history is an important tool for Polish-German dialogue, in particular the dialogue which takes place as part of town-twinning (Biberach an der Riss is a twin town of Świdnica) on the lands that have passed from German into Polish hands. In the broader context, the Polish-German situation has analogies in the Polish-Ukrainian situation (the taking over of the German heritage by Polish residents and the taking over of the Polish heritage by Ukrainians in the eastern territories of the Second Republic).

"The Poland-Germany EAK Programme - the European Dialogue"

Polish-German reconciliation must be constantly deepened and continue to become the subject of reflection. Despite its success, there are still many prejudices and negative stereotypes in Polish and German minds. A lack of sufficient mutual knowledge is also found, which, as a matter of fact, applies more to the Germans, but also to Poles. This lack of knowledge is associated with a deeper phenomenon which is the conflicting and incongruent Polish and German social memory: a conflict of the fundamental narratives of the past of the two societies. There is also a lack of reflection on cultural and mental differences. These differences, being not realized, cause much difficulty in mutual communication. The Krzyżowa Academy's task is to initiate such a profound reflection.

The EAK Programme "Krzyżowa and the World"

Polish-German reconciliation has a broad and universal significance. It can be a model for many necessary processes of this type in the world. It need not be regarded as a merely historical phenomenon, but also as know-how useful in other places and times. The Polish-German example of reconciliation is appealed to by the Koreans and the Japanese. The process of reconciliation is needed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Romania, etc. In many cases, the Polish-German experience can be valuable and useful. Krzyżowa (as a place and as a "trademark") may become helpful in initiating such processes. It should be noted that the initiation of processes of reconciliation is something different from the action of groups of negotiators engaged in open conflicts, hence the need for a different approach and development of appropriate methods.

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