politics and contemporary history

How the French and Germans Overcame Their Conflicts and Wrote a Common Textbook

February 27, 2014
06.30 pm
Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, Berlin Hall
In the early 20th century, Germans and French perceived each other as enemies, since they fought in three wars between 1870 and 1945. A German national state was established after the defeat of France in 1871, in the Palace of Versailles, in the defeated France, where the King of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor. France had to cede two provinces, Alsace and Lorraine, to the newly founded German Empire. Therefore, to most Germans and French their common history appeared as a history of enmity that erupted again in two world wars. The teaching of history in both countries signed the respective neighbors as a dangerous threat to security and peace in Europe, so that the youth was brought up in the hatred of the other.

Today, however, there are no nations that work together more closely than France and Germany. There is even a common history book, the Franco-German history book "Histoire / Geschichte", helping the students of both countries to learn how to take a common view of their history. How was this development possible? How did Germans and French manage to write the first bi-national school history book? Which problems had the authors to overcome in the development of the common history book? And do their experiences serve as a role model for the successful overcoming of conflicts?

Dr. Rainer Bendick studied history and French in Freiburg, Berlin and Rennes. He did his PhD on the representation of the First World War in German and French school history books and has published numerous articles on the interpretation of the First World War in German and French history lesson. He is co-editor of the German-French school history book "Histoire / History" and teaches at the night school Sophie Scholl in Osnabrück History and French.
The presentation takes place as a supplement to the international conference ' WAR & COLONIES, 1914-1918' organized by Alliance Francaise de Dhaka from February24 to 26

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