The year 1989 became a turning point in the history of Europe. Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe began to falter, Hungary opened its border with Austria, Poland held its first semifree parliamentary elections, many East German refugees in Prague and Warsaw speeded up the changes in East Germany, and then the Berlin Wall fell. This departure allowed for a new beginning of Polish-German relations.

In November 1989, Chancellor Helmut Kohl visited Poland and met with the first non-communist Prime Minister of Poland, Tadeusz Mazowiecki. Their embrace during the service in Krzyżowa in Lower Silesia went down in history as a symbol of Polish-German reconciliation.

Today, 30 years later, we would like to recall this history and ask what it means for us. Is reconciliation between Germans and Poles still an issue? How well have we managed to use the last 30 years to create a friendly coexistence between a free Poland and a united Germany? What are the challenges facing the German-Polish neighbourhood today? These and other questions will be answered by the participants of the meeting.

On May 16th in Warsaw, at the headquarters of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club, a debate took place on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the German-Polish Reconciliation Mass in Krzyżowa.

The meeting was organized as part of the Civil Dialogue - an initiative of the European Commission, enabling a wide audience to participate in debates with representatives of the European Commission.

During the meeting, the participants discussed the following issues:

  • What was the meaning of the symbolic embrace of Mazowieckie and Kohl in Krzyżowa in the 1990s and today?
  • What was the expression of the Polish-German community of interests and values on the Polish road to Europe?
  • Where are the reasons for the frequent Polish-German misunderstandings?
  • What is/can be the function of German-Polish reconciliation in the European memory?
  • To what extent is/can the Polish-German dialogue an opportunity for the EU?

As in previous years, Krzyżowa will host a meeting of the Friends of Krzyżowa, which will be open to all those who feel connected with Krzyżowa through projects and the history of the place, but also to those who want to discover Krzyżowa. The organizer of the meeting, in cooperation with the Krzyżowa Foundation, is our partner from Berlin Kreisau-Initiative e.V.
The meeting in Krzyżowa is open, which means that everyone can take part in it. We encourage you to come with all your family and friends!

In terms of language, this will mean a mixture of German, Polish and English.
This year both the Krzyżowa Foundation and Kreisau-Initiative are celebrating their 30th anniversary. On this occasion, Saturday afternoon of the meeting will be devoted to discussions about our common history, present and future.

From February 21st to 27st, in Krzyżowa Foundation took place the second part of the training cycle 'smART history'. The trilateral training was addressed to civic education multipliers working with youth at memorial sites. During the second meeting, the participants from France, Germany and Poland were going to get to know theatrical techniques and were going to work jointly on the topic of French-German and Polish-German reconciliation. 

The methodology of training was very diverse. In addition to theoretical impulses, the workshops offered the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge and try out the methods in an intercultural group.

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