Das Große Sterben. 100 Jahre Erster Weltkrieg – Spurensuche an Kriegs- und Gedenkorten in Belgien

Iris Weber, Stefan Debrabandere, Richard Kotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In August 2014 the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war (1914-1918) takes place. In the summer of 1914 Europe unleashed an incredibly atrocious conflict, fought for the first time globally and with consequences which have been shaping our world up to the present day. However, we as Germans are often not very aware of a fact that might cause irritations amongst our neighbours in Europe: In Germany, the millions of dead soldiers and civilians of the war 1914-18 seem to be almost forgotten. Remembrance here is entirely overshadowed by the second world war. By contrast, the Great War, so called by Belgians, the British and the French until today, is deeply rooted in the collective memories of our (west-)European neighbours and other nations such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada. Therefore, a relevant question is how can we raise awareness for the dimensions of this "great seminal catastrophe of the 20th century" (George F. Kennan) and the traces it has left behind to the present? How can we contribute to a (renewed) deeper comprehension of the first world war as part of our own history? How can we get more active in promoting a common - or at least mutually informed European / transnational - way of remembering and commemorating? Faced with this challenge, the authors have developed a concept for a multi-day field visit seminar on World War I, with a Europeanized and transnational perspective, exemplary through the events and experiences of soldiers and civilians at the former western front in Belgium. This article aims to provide an insight into the practice of historical-political educational work, and provides illustrating information about the seminar which has already been conducted on two occasions in Summer 2014. This includes the concept and programme, target group, learning objectives, teaching methods, incl. references, as well as seminar results, impressions and experiences. (DIPF/author)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
JournalZeitschrift Europäische Erziehung
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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