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History After the Fall - Benefits and added value

The multiyear collaborative effort will result in important, interesting, and serious professional debates, and certainly, in serious disagreement as well, among the co-operating institutions. The possibly emerging polyphonic work could serve as an example in the highly divided, intolerant, politically overcharged atmosphere of the countries formerly under Communist rule.

Our hope is that the complexity of the proposed program - exhibitions, conferences, open workshops, film-series, and public debates will generate widespread media interest for the multi-year collaborative work.

The focus of the multi-year program would not be just historical representation in a narrow professional sense. The participating institutions and scholars are mainly interested in the use of historical revisionism, i.e., politics by the means of history, history as the ultima ratio in moral, ideological and political debates and discourse, especially in Europe. At the moment when the first countries from Central and Easter Europe are in the process of joining a common Europe, it is important for all of us to initiate wide-ranging, professionally, intellectually, and morally informed public debate on the use and abuse of recent history in a complex European frame. Unresolved, suppressed issues of the past hover darkly above crucial questions of how to coexist in a normal, civilized and mutually beneficial way in a new Europe. It would be a fatal mistake to mitigate the potential dangers of subterranean counter-histories of intolerance, and denial of human decency.

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