Can history help us build bridges?

Timothy Snyder and Marci Shore, American Professors and Historians from Yale University were in conversation with Krzysztof in the basement of Krasnogruda.  Timothy’s book ‘Bloodlands – Europe between Hitler and Stalin’ had been translated into Georgian, Ukrainian, Polish and will be soon available in Belarus. Marci’s book ‘Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’s Life and Death in Marxism 1918-1968′ studied Central European intellectuals involvement in Communism.

Krzysztof asked if history can help us today with building bridges and  past in dealing with memories that prevent us from rebuilding or connecting…

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Timothy: ‘The only way history can help is by being itself, not by being something else… History is not what I think about the past, or what you think about the past, or what your government thinks about the past politicians think. History is certainly not what you read in school about the past… that’s about the furthest thing away from history…’

It was a fascinating debate covering the emergence of history as a discipline in terms of 19th century nation building, that role of historians as bridge builders, distortions of history and the need for historians to be disturbing and fearless.

Here’s the audio of the discussion/presentation in four sections for those of you who want to listen (again). Just click on the left hand side of the bar.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

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