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Polnisches Institut Berlin

Es begann in Gdańsk


Reconciliation and Remembrance

01.01 - 31.12.2017

A seminar for youth from the Western Balkans

Students from the Western Balkans took part in the first seminar held in Krzyżowa and Wroclaw which was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe.

Filmdokumentation: HIER (OmeU)

As part of the seminar, students and young graduates from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Germany, Poland and Serbia were able to meet and learn about the history of Poland and Germany, especially about the tragic World War II period.
The programme started with a visit to the former German Nazi concentration camp Groß Rosen and a lecture on Polish-German relations by Dr. Robert Żurka from the Krzyżowa Foundation.
Thereafter, guests visiting the Depot History Centre (Centrum Historii Zajezdnia) had the opportunity to find out about other events that shaped the history of Poland – including the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the post-war border changes and the resettlement of Poles from the Eastern Borderlands, as well as the creation of the “Solidarnosc” movement.
During their visit to the Silesian Museum in Zgorzelec and the city of Wroclaw participants were made familiar with Silesia’s turbulent past including its multi-cultural history, religious diversity and how it belonged to various nations over the centuries.
Through its portrayal of historical experiences, the seminar presented the process of Polish-German reconciliation, with a special emphasis on the role of Polish and German civil society, the Churches and the activities of figures such as Cardinal Bolesław Kominek. 
A trip to Görlitz/Zgorzelec and the presentation of the Polish-German “Europe. Our History” textbook provided the youth with information about the state of current relations as well as examples of co-operation between the two societies. 
The countries in the Western Balkans are candidates or potential candidates for membership of the European Union - Montenegro and Serbia are already negotiating accession. Poland, a supporter of EU enlargement, shares its experiences and good practices from its accession period.