A central phenomenon in the history of Europe during the 20th century is (often forced) migration. Deportation, escape, evacuation, resettlement, emigration and repatriation are firmly inscribed in European cultures of memory. In many cases, people’s memories are associated with places far distant from their current homes. For many, it is only since the fall of the Iron Curtain that it has become possible to return to those places which are bound up with so many memories, to visit them or to investigate them. The connections between present and past, as well as between the places in question, shape the “paths of remembrance” and bring to life the paths of migrations in Europe. A total of 24 international project teams investigated such paths in European remembrance.
Themes which were specifically addressed included the following:
To what extent do present city residents remember former, and now largely disappeared, populations?
How does the passage of time affect memories of a place which had to be left under duress?
Have special places of remembrance arisen in those places which were nodes in the European migration routes?
Of those who underwent expulsion, how do the memories of those who returned differ from the memories of those who stayed away?