“History of Neighbours - Our Own Way Through Common Crossroads”
project was supported by the International Visegrad Fund. Its aim was to acquire partners in the countries of “V4” (methodologists, historians) for activities, leading to strengthening the understanding among young people. Leading the way to a deeper cognition of the most important ages, events or personalities of 20th century in our neighbouring countries.
“History of Our Neghbours - Visegrad Countries in Mutual Views and Perspectives”
A three-year strategic grant from IVF follows the previous project. The aim is the cooperation within an international team, for the development of modern, attractive and easily accessible materials for teaching the history of 20th century in the Visegrad countries. This includes also a view from the other side of the border and the perspective of our neighbours on a particular historical phenomenon or events. Within the project, sections were created in four languages on www.moderni-dejiny.cz. These are being considerably updated and formed into other national web versions.
During the years of 2011 and 2012 the projects were supported by Czech-Polish forum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. They were realized in partnership with the Institution of National Memory (IPN) in Warsaw. The aim was to bring together young people on both the Czech and the Polish side, due to their shared experiences in contemporary history and given the importance of both countries in current foreign policies. Taking into account the common risks which could endanger the crucial pillars of democracy and freedom concerning the political and the economical interests of the super powers in the Central European region
Language versions of the website www.moderni-dejiny.cz
The result of previous efforts dedicated to the realization of international projects are two hundred modern teaching materials. These are all easily accessible for every teacher of the Visegrad countries. They are available in Hungarian, Polish and Slovak languages on www.modern-history.eu.
A very popular and desirable output of our international activities is the travelling exhibition named “Together or Against Each Other? The Year of 1968 in Czechoslovakia and Poland”. It was made in both the Czech and Polish language versions. The exhibition was created in cooperation with the Institution of National Memory (IPN) in Warsaw. It comprises a collection of ten exhibition panels dedicated to events of the dramatic year of 1968, in both Czechoslovakia and Poland. Since November 2011, the exhibition has been installed in various Czech schools and since February 2012 in Poland, as well. We made worksheets containing questions and tasks for students in both countries and the teachers obtained a methodological manual. During the first eight months, 3,500 pupils from thirty Czech and Polish schools actively worked with the exhibition.
The discussion panel “Central Europe, Russia and post-soviet areas in historical and present perspective”
PANT, in cooperation with the Polish institute in Prague, The Faculty of Social Studies of the Masaryk University and the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Culture, organized a panel discussion named “Central Europe, Russia and Post-Soviet Areas in Historical and Present Perspective” in December 2011. The patronage over the discussion of politicians, diplomats and historians was assumed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg.
“My hero, your enemy“
We prepared and moderated a “What do students learn in their history classes about the past of their neighbours?“ seminar at the International Visegrad Fund Conference called “My Hero, Your Enemy-Through Listening to Understanding” which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague. The main topic of the conference was the national history of Visegrad countries as reflected in the historiography of their neighbours. Following institutions were partners of the Conference: the International Visegrad Fund, the History Institute of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Political Studies Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Historic Institute of the Slovak Academy of Science, The Institute for Public Affairs in Bratislava, PANT and the Czech Television as a media partner.
Meetings of methodologists - multilingual set of materials for teaching History of the neighbours
The highlight of the projects was an international meeting of methodologists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The results of the international projects were presented in workshops and foreign teachers discussed the level of teaching the history of their neighbours in their countries. An important end result was establishing contacts for implementing student exchanges. We prepared DVDs for the participants in four languages with educational materials, which occured throughout both projects. Since 2012 a team of representatives from PANT and cooperating institutions have been designing a multilingual set of materials for teaching 20th century history of their neighbours. Emphasis is put on common features and differencies, especially on different views from different sides of borders. A set of advanced methodological materials about the history of V4 countries in the 20th century with emphasis on the cross-border view and methodological experience and national specifics is going to be created.
Thanks to the project of the Czech-Polish Forum under the auspices of Czech Ambassador to Poland John Sechtr we were able to prepare two student exchanges in the autumn of 2012. Twenty Czech and twenty Polish students attended a three-day meeting in Warsaw and then in Ostrava. The meeting was also about exploring history and memorial places. An extraordinarily positive feedback convinced us about the significance of such exchange meetings. We have our Polish neighbours just behind the border, yet we are often unbelievably distant. And it is valid vice versa as well. This activity helps to overcome misunderstandings, prejudices and condemnations. In the upcoming years we intend to continue and organize similar exchanges.