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International Conference, Bonn, 12-13 December 2011

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Venue: Gustav-Stresemann-Institute Bonn, Germany

1st Day:

8.15 - 9.00 Registration of Participants
9.00 - 9.30

Opening Remarks:

  • Dr. Roland Schwartz (Director dvv international); Prof Dr. Elazar Barkan (Director ISHR); Stephan Clauss (Head of Educational Department, Academy for Conflict Transformation)

Welcome Speech:

  • Dr. Christiane Bögemann-Hagedorn (Head of Sub-Division, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development)
9.30 - 11.00

Plenary session:

Historical Experiences and Present and Future Responsibilities
Moderator: Britta Schweighoefer, dvv international

  • Processing a Difficult Past: Didactics of History in the German Context Prof. Dr. Susanne Popp (Didactics of History, University of Augsburg)
  • Ethical Processing of the Past and the Responsibility for the Future: Cardinal and Personal Remarks, Prof. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling (Postmaster General and High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (retired))


11.00 - 11.30 Coffee/Tea Break
11.30 - 12.30

Plenary session:

Approaches and Methods in Dealing with the Past
Moderator: Matthias Klingenberg, dvv international, Asia Department

  • Linking Transitional Justice and Development for Sustainable Peace, Natascha Zupan (Head of the Working Group on Peace and Development, FriEnt, Bonn)
  • Youth and Adult Education Approaches and Methods in Dealing with the Past, Vanya Ivanova (dvv international history network)


12.30 - 13.45 Lunch
14.00 - 18.00

Study trips

Three Study Trips running in parallel

  1. EL-DE Haus

    Officially the Nazism Documentation Center, located in Cologne, is the former headquarters of the Gestapo and now a museum documenting the Third Reich.

    The building was at first the business premises of jeweller Leopold Dahmen, and the building takes its name from his initials. In 1934, the Nazis rented the building from him and turned it into the headquarters of the secret police, the Gestapo. Surprisingly, the building survived the Allied bombing of Cologne during World War II, while 90% of the city was destroyed. After the bombings, the basements of the building, which had been used as prison cells and torture rooms for forced labourers and political enemies, were used to store wartime files and paperwork. Inscriptions made on the walls of the prison cells by inmates can still be viewed today. The building was the site of many executions, as well as deaths due to overcrowding and poor hygienic conditions.

    In 2006, the National Socialist Documentation Center was awarded the Best in Heritage award, which is given to select museums.

  2. The Government Bunker (Regierungsbunker)

    in Germany, officially named “Ausweichsitz der Verfassungsorgane des Bundes im Krisen- und Verteidigungsfall zur Wahrung von deren Funktionstüchtigkeit (AdVB)”, in English: Emergency Seat of the Federal Constitutional Organs for the State of Crisis or State of Defence to Maintain their Ability to Function was a massive underground complex designed to house the German government, parliament and all federal personnel needed to keep the government working in the event of war or severe crisis. Located only about 25 km south of Bonn, Germany (the capital and government seat of pre-unification West Germany), in the Ahr Valley between the towns of Ahrweiler and Dernau, it was one of the best kept secrets of West Germany. It was built between 1960 and 1972 inside two abandoned railway tunnels, maintained and kept in a working condition for about 30 years and decommissioned in 1997. A small part of the once-secret site is now open to the public as Government Bunker Documentation Site, while the vast majority is abandoned and sealed.

  3. Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museums for Ethnology – Cultures of the World

    Who is afraid of the Black Man?
    Germany’s colonial past: Images of Africa in German popular culture and the necessity for a new culture of remembrance.

    Africa is still the continent perceived in a mostly stereotyped and prejudiced way in Germany. Most Germans do not even realize that these images of Africa are not corresponding to any African reality. Many of these images have their origin in colonial times and live on unchanged until today. Outside academics people either do not know that their country has a past as colonial power or remember it in a romanticized way. Only recently German colonialism is reappraised as an important chapter of the African - German encounter and the need for a culture of remembrance concerning German colonialism is recognized.

    The theme complex “The Distorted View: Prejudices“ of the new “Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museums for Ethnology – Cultures of the World“ presents an innovative a approach to German colonialism and it's impact on present-day stereotypes, prejudices and racism.

    Tour guided by:
    Prof. Dr. Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst
    Institute for African Studies; University of Cologne; Guest-curator of the theme complex „The Distorted View“

  4. Die Bonner Geschichtswerkstatt – The Bonn History Workshop

    In the late 1970s, as part of the “New Social Movements”, are established small urban initiatives with focus on local history. The idea of these history workshops (“Geschichtswerkstatt”) is to “dig where you stand”, which means to find out more about the history of the place you live in. The idea of the History workshops is to contribute to finding out the history of the people and has the conviction that the “big history of men and incidents” needs to be supplemented by a history from below. The Bonn History Workshop has worked in last two decades on different topics, such as the history of the Jewish population, forced labourers and the life, deportation and murder of Roma and Sinti – many of them directed to the processing of the local Nazi history. There have been discussions, exhibitions and many publications. The Workshop is run completely by volunteers and laymen.

    Tour guided by:
    Sabine Harling and Erhard Stang (Bonner Geschichtswerkstatt)

19.00 Reception at TAO Restaurant (

2nd Day:

9.00 - 9.15

Welcome Speech:

Semjon Pauker (Department VN02, Federal Foreign Office Berlin)

9.15 - 10.30

Plenary Session:

Post-conflict Realities and Challenges
Moderator: Veronika Burget (Columbia University)

  • History as Politics: (Post)violence, redress, and reconciliation, Prof Dr. Elazar Barkan, (Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the SIPA Human Rights Concentration at the Columbia University New York)
  • Closing the Books or Keeping them Open?, Marijana Toma (Coordinator of the Expert Group for Statute of RECOM, Coalition for RECOM, Serbia / Montenegro)


10.30 - 11.00 Coffee/Tea Break
11.00 - 12.30

Workshops (Morning Session)

Four workshops running in parallel

  1. Experiences of Reconciliation in German Contemporary History (1945 – 2011)

    Moderator: Uwe Gartenschlaeger (dvv international)

    11.00 - 11.20
    You Just Have to Do it - an Initiative from Civil Society Action Reconciliation Service for Peace from 1958, Dr. Christian Staffa, (Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, Berlin, Germany)

    11.20 - 11.40
    Which Past? Which Future? Referring to Visitor’s Backgrounds in Educational Programs at the Buchenwald Memorial Site, Daniel Gaede (Buchenwald Memorial, Germany)

    11.40 - 12.10
    Reconciliation through Practical Solidarity: German Chernobyl Initiatives in Belarus, Dr. Astrid Sahm (International Education and Exchange (IBB), Dortmund)


  2. Youth and Adult Education Approaches and Methods for Dealing with the Past for Reconciliation

    Moderator: Levan Kvatchadze (dvv international) (tbc)

    11.00 - 11.20
    Fit in Contemporary German History, Kerstin Giebel, (International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, Germany)

    11.20 - 11.40
    SovLab - Georgian Effort Towards Rethinking the Soviet Past, David Gogishvili (SovLab Project, Georgia)

    11.40 - 12.00
    Confronting the Ghosts of the Past: Native American Education and Reconciliation in Canada, Dr. Geneviève Susemihl (Germany)

    12.00 - 12.20
    Museum of Yugoslav History, Mr Ivan Manojlovic (Belgrade, Serbia)


  3. 3. Historical Dialogue: Concepts, Practices, Challenges and Lessons Learnt

    Moderator: Prof. Elazar Barkan (Institute for the Study of Human Rights)

    11.00 - 11.10
    Welcome and Introduction Elazar Barkan and Veronika Burget (Institute for the Study of Human Rights)

    11.10 - 11.20
    Building Joint Narratives, Working with People from Competing National Narratives, Falk Pingel, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (Braunschweig)

    11.20 - 11.30
    Case Study Turkey: Anadolu Kultur, Meltem Aslan (Istanbul)

    11.30 - 11.40
    Case Study Croatia: Documenta. Center for Dealing with the Past, Emina Buzinkic (Zagreb)

    11.40 - 11.50
    Case Study USA: Listening between the Lines, Alan Lipke (Tampa, Florida)

    11.50 - 12.30
    Discussion: What are the Principles of Historical Dialogue we Want to Promote? Concepts, Practices and Key Actors

  4. Civil Society Peace-Building: Transferring Lessons of Local Educational Initiatives of Dealing with the Past to a National Level

    Moderator: Stephan Clauss, Academy for Conflict Transformation, Bonn/Germany

    11.00 - 11.15
    Welcome, presentation of schedule, intro of resource people

    11.15 - 11.35
    Dealing with the Past and Non-Formal Education: Contributions by Civil Society Initiatives in the Region of Former Yugoslavia, Dr. Martina Fischer, Deputy Director, Berghof Conflict Research; Berlin/Germany

    11.35 - 11.55
    Educational Approaches to Dealing with the Past in school to oppose political exploitation of history, Albert Hani, forumZFD, Skopjie/Mazedonia

    11.55 - 12.30
    Discussion, Insights, Challenges and Opportunities Discovered and Questioned

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 - 16.00

Workshops (Afternoon Session)

  1. Experiences of Reconciliation in German Contemporary History (1945 – 2011)

    Moderator: Nazaret Nazaretyan (dvv international)

    13.30 - 14.00
    Public Art and Memory, Prof. Renata Stih and Dr. Frieder Schnock (Berlin, Germany)

    14.00 - 14.30
    Coming to Terms with the Communist Past in Germany – Political Education for Adolescents and Adults between Romanticisation and Reality, Lisa Freigang and Sascha Rex (DVV Bonn, Germany)

    14.30 - 15.00
    Biographical Approaches in Educational Work, CD-Rom "The ‘Daily Life’ of Prisoners in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 1936, Inga Hoolmans (Sachsenhausen Memorial, Germany)


  2. Youth and Adult Education Approaches and Methods for Dealing with the Past for Reconciliation

    Moderator: Wolfgang Leumer (dvv international)

    13.30 - 14.00
    From Learning to Listen to Speaking to One Another: Turkish – Armenian Reconciliation Project, Matthias Klingenberg, Avetis Keshishyan and Zeynep Başer (Germany, Armenia, Turkey)

    14.00 - 14.30
    Youth and Reconciliation - Cambodia and the Issue of Transitional Justice and Reconciliation, Ms Sonja Meyer and Nou Va (Cambodia)

    14.30 – 15.00
    National Healing Process in Zimbabwe, Ms Lucia Manyuchi (African Community Publishing and Development Trust, Zimbabwe)

    15.00 - 15.30
    Approaches in Social and Local History and Work with Elderly, Biographical Method, Dr. Olga Agapova and Dr. Mikhail Rozhanski (Russian Federation)


  3. Historical Dialogue: Concepts, Practices, Challenges and Lessons Learnt

    13.30 – 13.40
    Case Study Lebanon: Umam Research and Documentation Center, Rohit Goel (Beirut)

    13.40 – 13.50
    Case Study Germany: Institut for Applied History, Juliane Tomann (Frankfurt Oder)

    13.50 – 14.00
    Case Study Cyprus: Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, Rana Celal (Nicosia)

    14.00 – 14.40
    Discussion: Challenges and Lessons Learned

    14.45 – 14.55
    Case Study Israel: Zochrot, Eitan Bronstein (Tel Aviv)

    14.55 – 15.05
    Case Study Serbia: Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation, Darko Gavrilovic (Novi Sad),

    15.05 – 15.15
    Case Study Assyrian History: Seyfo Assyrian Genocide Research Center, Noray Betbaba (Los Angeles)

    15.15 – 16.00
    Discussion: Needs for Advocates of Historical Dialogue and how AHDA Could Address them

  4. Civil Society Peace-Building: Transferring Lessons of Local Educational Initiatives of Dealing with the Past to a National Level

    13.30 - 13.35
    Welcome back/Intro afternoon

    13.35 - 13.55
    Coming to Terms with a Violent Past in Columbia: Completing History through Memory. Educational Initiatives for a Better Future, Helen Rottmann (Berlin/Germany)

    13.55 - 14.15
    Can Dialogue and Reconciliation be Taught? - Lessons Learned from a 15 Year Long Reconciliation Program, Steinar Bryn, Senior Advisor, Nansen Center for Peace and Dialog; Lillehammer/Norway

    14.15 - 14.45
    Discussion, Insights, Challenges and Opportunities Discovered and Questioned

    14.45 - 16.00
    Presentation of Practical Activities

    • Dialogue Tool (Albert Hani)
    • o More-Dimensional Method (Helen Rottmann)

    Harvesting and Way Forward / Closing and Feedback

16.00 - 16.15 Coffee/Tea Break
16.15 - 18.00

Final session: Closing the Debate or Keeping it Open? - Two Good Practices about Germany

Moderator: Uwe Gartenschlaeger (dvv international / EAEA)

Presentation of the “Interview Project Germany” ( by Stephan Balzer, Red Onion

Short presentation of the project “Gedächtnis der Nation” ( by Jörg von Bilavsky

Panel discussion with Prof. Dr. Elazar Barkan, Prof. Dr. Susanne Popp, Dr. Andreas Heinemann-Grüder and Dr. Dagmar Engels (tbc)

19.00 - 20.00 Dinner (GSI)