Common culture of remembrance key to united Europe, historians say





The question of how to compensate victims of forced labor under the Nazis was long-debated in Germany until the German government teamed up with the private sector to set up a 5.2 million euro fund. The foundation Remembrance, Responsibility, Future (EVZ) was created in 2000 to handle compensation cases.

Payments from the fund were completed in 2007. Now the EVZ, along with an international network of historians, is trying to get Europe to come to terms with its history of forced labor, wars and conflicts as well as its Nazi and communist past.

"Europe can only truly forge a lasting political identity if public statements about the mutual recognition of disputed memories are valued as highly as statements about treaties, domestic markets and open borders," said political scientist Claus Leggewie....


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