“A painful memory of the war will continue to exist, but despite this pain, we need to turn our eyes to new horizons. Memories have become an important element for building international relations, including in the German-Russian context, ”Andreas von Geir said in his opening remarks. He also noted that Germany remembers the historical responsibility in starting a war and welcomes an honest approach to history, in which performers and victims are not rearranged. The ambassador also spoke of reconciliation as a gift and an opportunity to build a joint future. “No country in the world alone can cope with the upcoming challenges. It is very important to tell young people about the past in order to avoid its mistakes. Freedom and peace must go hand in hand, the only way to solve the problems of the future. ”
It seems to me that the topic of conversation and thoughts on this subject is very important. Because it is interesting to mean that other volunteers think about it. I’m interested in the fact that people in Europe know about the war, and I’m interested in hearing and understanding me.
Stories about the past are the specialization of Arina Nemkova, Head of the Fund for Support and Development of Russian-German Relations, Russian-German Meeting Center (Magdeburg). One of the directions of the center’s work is the “Humanitarian gesture” project, within the framework of which young Germans meet with eyewitnesses of the war. “They don’t talk about the blockade in German schools and institutes, there are not so many materials translated into German,” says Arina Nemkova. - At meetings with eyewitnesses of those events, the guys get first-hand information. The more comfortable the atmosphere in which the discussions take place, the deeper the questions of young Germans, the more open veterans become. Almost every meeting we have ends with a hug. ”
Such an empirical acquaintance with history is supported by the volunteer in the past, the curator of exhibitions, who at one time headed the German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst, Christiane Janecke. She emphasizes that Germany and Russia have different cultures of memory, this difference is made up of the historical role of countries in the events of the Second World War - one celebrates victory, the other - liberation from the National Socialists. “It seems to me that the most important thing is to get together and talk with each other, although sometimes it hurts. Therefore, I really like the project that Arina Nemkova spoke about. You need to visit not only the Nazi crime scenes in Germany, but also come to other countries where the memory of these crimes is also alive, come to Russia. So young people can relate what happened more than 70 years ago with their lives, skip the events of those years through themselves, ”says the historian.
Meetings by meetings, and what to do with fake-news about the war, which traditionally appear in large numbers before the celebration of May 8/9? The director of the Mandelstam Center, Pavel Polyan, who joined the conversation, answered this question: “75 years have passed since the end of the war, and it is time to stop young people reacting to such attacks. A calm historical study, based on an empirical basis (the Russian archives would have been opened completely) should help. ”
To deal with false information will help and personal experience. Irina Shcherbakova, member of the board of the International Youth Memorial in Europe, is convinced that young people are sensitive when they lie. Interest in history does not arise when they see a portrait of their great-grandfather glued to a wooden board specially by May 9, but when they themselves begin to look for information about relatives. The same process of matching oneself is included as in German volunteers meeting with veterans.