Opening Keynote of the Conference What Europe? Ideals to Fight for Today

The recent uprising in Ukraine, and the subsequent Russian military invasion of the Crimea, have created an unexpected and highly volatile situation on European soil. Competing arguments are made about the motivations and character of the uprising, and about the response demanded by the invasion. Comparisons have been drawn with Europe in the period immediately prior to the Second World War. The unfolding of events, and of perceptions concerning them, carry decisive implications for the future of the European Union. Timothy Snyder argues that “what Europeans decide to see in the Ukrainian revolution might in the end define Europe.” He rejects claims that the revolution was a right-wing or nationalist conspiracy: “Has it ever before happened that people associated with Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, Armenian, Polish, and Jewish culture have died in a revolution that was started by a Muslim?” He also argues that the EU needs to use its “soft power” to defend Ukrainian autonomy. What are likely outcomes for the evolving crisis? And what are the prospects for the populations of the Ukraine, where both political alliance with Russia and revolt have been precipitated by endemic corruption?

Timothy D. Snyder is Professor of History at Yale University. He is a specialist in the history of Central and Eastern Europe. His recent book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin from 2010 was translated into twenty languages and was a bestseller in four countries. Professor Snyder is a Fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna and the College of Europe in Natolin, Poland. He has written for the International Herald Tribune, The Nation, New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, Eurozine, among many other publications. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Modern European History and East European Politics and Societies.

18:30 Introduction: What Europe? Ideals to Fight for Today
Roger Berkowitz (Hannah Arendt Center, Bard College New York)

18:45 Keynote Introduction
Dr. Gabriele Freitag (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde)

19:00: Opening Keynote

In English

Roger Berkowitz
Dr. Gabriele Freitag
Timothy D. Snyder

Organized by

The conference was a cooperation between Bard College Berlin, a Liberal Arts University, the ICI Berlin, the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College New York, and the German Association for East European Research (DGO).

The event, like all events at the ICI Berlin, is open to the public, free of charge. The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin. If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.

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