For a European perspective: European history and culture of remembrance

Did you know that the House of European History hosts objects from more than 300 European museums? The museum is part of the European parliamentary complex in Brussels and was opened on the 6th of May 2017.

The planning and inauguration of the House of European History (HEH) was accompanied with criticism. Especially harsh were reactions in British tabloids and Members of the British Ukip party. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall, an MEP called the museum a “Palace of Propaganda” that will go down in history as “the European Union’s ‘Pravda’ in stone.”

The secretive nature of the planning process and the lack of public debate has been subject to criticism elsewhere in Europe. Stalinist indoctrination as the British populist leader suggests is however hardly the ambition of a museum planned by a committee of well known historians. Among them many from former socialist countries.

Polish Professor Wlodzimierz Borodziej, Chair of the Academic Committee stressed the multi-perspective approach of the museum: “Like the Union, the work of the House of European History will never be complete. It will always remain a record of the time in which modified versions of the permanent exhibition and of the subsequent temporary exhibitions will be born. Last but not least, it will remain a record of the disputes about this, our tiny appendix of Asia, where we nest and which we have the right to be proud of.”

Can you think of other examples when false historical analogies are instrumentalised in order to legitimise a political agenda? How to react to populists provocations and fictional historical narratives? What can be appropriate ways of dealing with “alternative facts” in the context of historical arguments?

You want to present your arguments?

Submit your text to our essay contest now!

Topic 3/3: European history: towards a culture of “anything goes“ in European history and culture of remembrance? Political arguments often derive their legitimation from history. How history is written, taught and exhibited on the other hand is influenced by the political order we live in. For this essay authors are asked to reflect upon the phenomena of „alternative facts“ and „post-truth“ in the context of historical arguments, the pitfalls of historical analogies and the potential of political manipulation.

Winners will be invited to our media event in Berlin. Travel expenses and Accomodation will be covered. And of course we want to publish your text in our online magazine! The submission deadline is 28 February 2018.

We accept texts in English, French and German.

More information on our call for essays in EN / FR / DE.

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Featured image by Guy Delsaut (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons