Vilnius between the wars – Jewish culture, Lithuanian society, the Polish state and Belorussian minority

The Global and European Studies Institute located of the University of Leipzig and the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future"
14.09.2010 - 19.09.2010
Ulrike Breitsprecher

The International Forum is part of the programme Geschichtswerkstatt Europa by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” and takes place from September 14th to September 19th 2010 in Vilnius.

The one-week event is to includes seminars, lectures, city tours and exhibition visits. Scholars from a diverse background of disciplines from different parts of Europe will debate the current processes of remembrance in Europe. Convenors of the International Forum are the historians Matthias Middell and Stefan Troebst from Leipzig and the partners in Vilnius “The Lithuanian Institute of History”, the “Centre for Studies of the Culture and History of East European Jews” and the “Vilnius Yiddish Institute” of the University of Vilnius.

The aim of the Forum is to highlight the conflicting recollections of the European 20th century and to familiarise participants with recent research results in the area of collective and cultural memory.

The International Forum is dedicated to the multilayered history of Vilnius/Wilno/Vil´na/Wilna. The many names attributed to the city indicates, from the outset, the culturally and religiously multifaceted character that Vilnius displays. Time and again Lithuanians, Poles, and Belarusians have all made national demands during the past thereby shaping the city making it what it is today.

Two key aspects are starkly represented in the city’s history and architecture whilst also commemorated by museums and memorials: first, that of the political constitution of the Jews between the two World Wars, and second, that of Soviet occupation in 1940.

Due to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Vilnius was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939. After one month it was given back to Lithuania. In summer 1940 Vilnius and Lithuania were occupied again by the Soviet Union. Both the memories of the Jewish tragedy as well as the memories of occupation are represented and remembered in Vilnius today alongside the cultural heritage of the “old” Vilnius.

Lectures will mainly be given in English, lectures in Lithuanian will be translated into English. Participants should therefore be able to at least understand English and communicate actively in English.

Grants and Requirements
Travel grants cover costs for travel and accommodation (in double rooms), and include a daily allowance. The exact amount depends on the actual costs for participation and local regulations. In accordance with the purpose of the foundation, travel grants are primarily given to applicants of Central and Eastern Europe. Applicants should be between 18 and 35 years of age.

We are currently accepting applications for participation in the conference. Applications should be sent to the address below and are to include a letter of motivation (maximum 600-1000 words) detailing personal interest in the this year`s topic of the International Forum and giving details of any previous experience in this field as well as prior knowledge and skills.
Applications should also include a Curriculum Vitae. The closing date for applications is 31th May 2010. Applications will be reviewed by July 11th, and applicants will be notified immediately thereafter.



Global and European Studies Institute, Geschichtswerkstatt
Emil-Fuchs-Straße 1, D-04105 Leipzig

Vilnius between the wars – Jewish culture, Lithuanian society, the Polish state and Belorussian minority, 14.09.2010 – 19.09.2010 Vilnius, in: H-Soz-Kult, 26.02.2010, <>.
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