About the Organizers: Memorial Germany, Memorial Perm and the BABI YAR Memorial Holocaust Center
Memorial Germany and Memorial Perm are the branches of Memorial International: an international NGO working in the field of human rights. It consists of the 52 national and regional organizations in 9 countries (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Austria and the Czech Republic). The organization was founded during the Perestroika period in the Soviet Union with the goal to deal with the consequences of communist crimes and commemorate its victims.
The BABI YAR Memorial Holocaust Center is a nonprofit educational institution that documents and commemorates the Holocaust, in particular, the Babi Yar mass shootings of September 1941.
About the Project:
We are convinced that the knowledge about the past should be separated from the sphere of conflict. The aim of the project is to provide the frames for the participants from the countries with the common but often differently interpreted past may learn about other narratives on the familiar historical events, discuss them and work on materials for a school manual that depicts this variety of perspectives.
Of course, the parts of the school manual that were elaborated by the participants during the summer school are not to replace the official school manuals in the selected countries. However, the project is important as an approbation of approach how the controversial memories and interpretations of the past may be recognized and acknowledged by all the involved actors.
Projects with similar output have already been realized: One good example is a common German-French history schoolbook, another good example is international exhibition “Different Wars”. The exhibition tackles how the Second World War was portrayed in the school manuals in different European countries. However, project “Writing History Together” has a slightly different objective: the participants from Belarus, Germany, Russia and Ukraine take an active part on writing on the school manuals themselves. That puts them from the role of observers into the new role of the content creators.
The project is supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Holocaust Memorial Center Babi Yar and the foundation Novaya Kollekciya.