Europe – Our History: a textbook for the future
We are pleased to announce the completion of volume 4 - ‘20th century to the present day’ - of the joint history book for Germany and Poland. This series of books approaches European and global history from various perspectives and demonstrates European societies’ interdependence upon one another. German and Polish versions of the books are now available for use in both countries.
The joint German-Polish Textbook Commission is responsible for this series of textbooks and has worked closely with experts and publishing houses from both Germany and Poland. The work has been coordinated by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig and the Zentrum für Historische Forschung Berlin der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
‘Depicting the history of the twentieth century in a single textbook that can be used by both German and Polish pupils presented an enormous challenge. National remembrance is, after all, a process of constant negotiation which continues to this day’ says Professor Eckhardt Fuchs, director of the Georg Eckert Institute. He continues: ‘the experience of German occupation during the Second World War is still painfully alive in Polish families whereas there is much less awareness of these events in Germany. However, the experience gained over the last twelve years working on these volumes has clearly demonstrated that if there is dialogic interaction when including the perspectives of others in our own national memories it encourages trust and strengthens cohesion in Europe’.
The textbook, published by Eduversum and WSiP, is intended for regular use in history classrooms at the lower secondary level (Sekundarstufe I) in Germany and for years 5–8 of Polish primary schools. Igor Kąkolewski, director of the Centrum Badań Historycznych Polskiej Akademii Nauk w Berlinie emphasises ‘the decisive innovation in our transnational history book is that pupils don’t just get to know material through the prism of their own national history. This makes it possible to take the experiences of others seriously and for there to be a level playing field.’
An event to celebrate the publication of the series is planned for the latter half of 2020.
The project has been supported by the governments of both countries. In Germany it has also had support from the State of Brandenburg and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. The project has also received funding from The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.
Further information can be found here: