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How we Shape Our Past The Hungarian Example

What is ´How we Shape Our Past´ about?

The way we deal with history tells a lot about us.
By deciding which aspects to stress and which to forget, by connecting different events and interpreting them, and by contrasting us with ‚others’ and their development, we define who we are – and who we would like to be. The way we approach it determines, who we will become. In the last century, Europe has experienced both the facist and the communist ideology and the complex systems and societies which enabled them and were shaped by them. Their existence affected all of us. Their experience is a fundamental aspect of the conditions under which democracy in Europe has been and will be shaped in Europe. For our project, we decided to analyse the way we deal with history at different locations which had very different experience – and react to the past by very different policies until today. We will compare and contrast the way in which we chose to remember the darker periods of their histories and the conclusions we reach.

Citizens of Europe will realise a series of events and activities dealing with how our past shapes us and how we shape our past in the following locations.

Workshop 1, Berlin, 2 – 5 February 2012
Workshop 2, Budapest, 15 – 18 March 2012
Workshop 3, Vilnius, 17 – 20 May 2012
Workshop 4, Prague, 12 – 15 Juli 2012
OpenForum, Weimar, 31 August – 3 September 2012

Budapest Workshop 2: The Hungarian Example

Right after the Berlin wrokshop, the Budapest event aims to explore ´The Hungarian Example´ especially focusing on the Arrow Cross Party regim and on the retaliaion period after the revolution in 1956.

This will include:
  • Visiting and analysing historical sites and museums in Budapest.
  • Discussing the historiography of the Fascist and Communist periods with experts in the field.
  • Interviewing members of the general public about their thoughts a memories of this era.
  • Documenting findings and observations made in Budapest.
  • Following and developing the framework (if neccessary) of how to approach the workshops following.

Your Host : Foundation for Democratic Youth (DIA)

Foundation for Democratic Youth is a politically independent, non-governmental and non-profit oriented organisation. It is our belief that modern democracies should rely on the active participation of well-informed citizens.

Therefore our aim is to promote youth service on the national and international level. Therefore DIA manages a variety of programs all aiming at developing young people’s democratic skills through experiential learning opportunities offerred by youth service activities.

Read more about our programs on the following web site:

Whom would we like to meet in Budapest?

Everyone who is interested in these two histrories and actively want to participate in a debate around these wide reaching topics. All opinions are valuable and will be considered. Academic and professional backgrounds are relevant for us only to the extent that they allow for interesting contributions to the debate.

We are willing to meet participants coming from the public and private sector, the academic community, civil society, arts, etc. Involving people with a variety of personal backgrounds will contribute to a lively debate with substantial results. We are particularly interested in people and organisations interested in contributing towards the program.

What are the conditions for participating?

Participation requires the ability to take part in a debate held in English language. Room and board are included.

What do you need to do in order to apply?

1. Fill in our application form and motivational letter, downloadable at:

2. Write a short motivational text (a few lines up to 4.000-5.000 characters), or send us visual material produced by you, which may provide an answer to one of the following questions:
  • For what reasons is remembering the past important?
  • What is the difference between remembering facism and communism? 
  • Can there be too much rememberance?
Please send your application to the following address: with the following subject: Budapest The Hungarian Example.

Apply now! Latest application deadline is 7th of March. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions!

Application Form