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Writing history together – a German-Polish history textbook

30.11.2010

On Wednesday (1 December) Cornelia Pieper, Coordinator of German-Polish Cooperation and Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office together with Polish Education Minister Katarzyna Hall and Brandenburg Education Minister Holger Rupprecht will be presented in Warsaw with recommendations for a joint German-Polish history textbook series.

In this connection Cornelia Pieper commented today (30 November):

“The planned joint German-Polish history textbook series is of a great symbolic importance for understanding and reconciliation between our two countries. It is a flagship cooperation project that is very close to my heart. I hope it will speak to teachers and pupils in both countries and encourage them to take a keen interest in their neighbouring country and learn more about it. I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the committee of experts and the whole German-Polish project group for their dedicated and successful work.”

The voluminous set of recommendations was drawn up by a German-Polish project group. The work of the group was led on the German side by the Federal Foreign Office and the Brandenburg Education Ministry, and on the Polish side by the Polish Education Ministry. The work has been supported by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig and the Willy Brandt Center for German and European Studies at the University of Wroclaw.

The aim is to develop a textbook series that can be used to teach history at lower secondary level in German and Polish schools. The content will be identical, the only difference will be the language in which they are written. What is planned are officially approved textbooks based on the history curricula used in both countries. The first textbook is expected to be published in 2012.

The project for a joint history textbook series has greatly benefited from the experience of the German-Polish Textbook Commission, which has been working on this subject since 1972. The recommendations submitted by the Commission as early as 1976 have had an important influence on the way history is taught and the textbooks used in both countries.

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