100 years after the First World War: remembering for the future 

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Winning Peace conference

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Winning Peace conference, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.net

11.10.2018 - Article

This autumn, the Federal Foreign Office is organising a series of events on the momentous period before and after 1918. The series was kicked off with the Winning Peace conference in Berlin on 11 October.

In close cooperation with international partners, the Federal Foreign Office is linking up the past, present and future with a large number of projects in Berlin and around the world. The questions that we are addressing include the following: which events before, during and after the First World War have repercussions today? What lessons can we learn from the First World War with respect to resolving current conflicts? How can peace be safeguarded in the long term?

In Berlin, the Federal Foreign Office is involved in three major events focusing on these questions in October and November 2018.

Together with his counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas opened the international conference “Winning Peace – the end of the First World War with its history, remembrance and current challenges” in Berlin on 11 October. Maas had the following to say in this regard: “The future needs remembrance. The European Union is a unique example in world history for successful conflict resolution. We should be proud of the lessons we have learnt from our shared history, of what we have achieved. And – in awareness of the past – to protect and promote this.”

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Winning Peace conference
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Winning Peace conference© Janine Schmitz/photothek.net

Winning Peace conference, 11 to 12 October

The two day conference is being held under the patronage of the Federal Foreign Office, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the First World War Centenary Partnership Programme. It is being held in close cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Deutsches Historisches Museum and numerous other partner organisations.

Both historical perspectives and current interdisciplinary reflections on questions relating to the international order, overcoming conflicts and shaping remembrance will be addressed by renowned international representatives from academia, politics, civil society and the media. 

War or Peace history festival, 17 to 21 October

The War or Peace – Crossroads of History 1918/2018 festival, organised by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Maxim Gorki Theatre and supported by the Federal Foreign Office, is taking place from 17 to 21 October. Over 300 international participants aged 18 to 30 will take part in innovative and creative workshop formats on a variety of issues ranging from post First World War democracies, political campaigns and propaganda to the impact of the First World War in different regions of the world. An artistic programme forms an integral part of the Festival.

International youth meeting Youth for Peace, 14 to 18 November

More than 500 young people from 52 countries, including the European Union and its neighbourhood, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey, will gather in Berlin from 14 to 18 November. At the youth meeting Youth for Peace, they will be able to experience the diversity of cultures of remembrance and perspectives on the First World War and reflect on the topic of peace. At the closing event on 18 November, the young people will present selected ideas for peace, which they will work on together during the youth meeting, to Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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