Research & Studies

Turning point for Europe – Remembering 1918 –

What is the meaning of 1918 for today’s European politics and societies? What is the role of this history in envisioning Europe of the 21st century?

The Czech Centres in cooperation with Václav Havel Library, Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Finnish Institute for the Benelux, Culture Action Europe, and EUNIC Prague cluster would like to invite you to a debate dealing with these topics which will be held in Václav Havel Library in Prague on 11th April, 2018, 4:30 to 8:30 pm.

Historians, journalists, teachers and other speakers from 7 European countries will compare their perspectives and discuss the contemporary relevance of 1918, especially with regard to the interpretations ascribed to 1918 throughout the 20th century. The debate should result in a better understanding of the 1918 and its aftermath as seen from Western and Central European perspective and how this perception shapes today’s views, how the interpretation of history varies in countries and what possible impact it has on politics among the countries in the EU. The debate will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Czech.



16:30               Opening speeches:

Václav Havel Library and Czech Centres representatives

17:00 – 18:30    Understanding of the year 1918 in “old” and “new” states

Understanding of the events in 1918 by the former empires and the new nations – do the differences still prevail? Do we feel nostalgia, satisfaction, bitterness, indifference…?  And what does the mythology of 1918 mean for the future of Europe? Does it – and if yes, how – influence today’s politics and societies?

Moderator:           Adéla Gjuričová, historian

Speakers:              Hungary – György Csepeli, social psychologist, iASK researcher

Slovakia –  Miroslav Michela, historian

Austria – Christophe Prantner, journalist

Czech Republic – Jan Hanzlík, historian

18:30 – 19:00    Break

19:00 -20:30      Understanding of the year 1918 in Western and Central Europe

Are there differences in understanding the 1918 between Western and Central Europe? If so, what are they and how are they reflected in different approaches to today’s reality? Is the year 1918 also perceived as the year of emergence of new states in Western Europe? How was the breakdown of old empires viewed in Belgium and Finland?

Moderator:           Pavlína Kvapilová, journalist

Speakers:              Belgium – Machteld Venken, associate professor at University Vienna

Finland – Kalle Kallio, director of the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas

Czech Republic – Václav Kuneš, history teacher

Poland – Lukasz Jasina, historian

Free entrance. Registration required here:

The event is part of a larger project initiated by BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Belgium entitled “1918 EUROPEAN DREAMS OF MODERNITY 100 YEARS ON” and supported by the Europe for Citizens program. The project includes two debates in Brussels and one debate in Helsinki and another debate in Budapest on the similar topic of today’s perception of the year 1918. For more information about the project, please visit: