Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
The High Representative/Vice-President recalls that on 22 December 2010, the Commission adopted a report on ‘The memory of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in Europe’. In its report, the Commission underlined the importance of keeping the memory alive of the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes. The Commission considered that it was important to address knowledge gaps concerning the totalitarian past in Europe.
In this regard, events surrounding the Augustow Roundup should be fully investigated and cooperation to that end should be extended by all relevant national and other authorities. In the current context of strained EU-Russia relations, such matters are likely to be most effectively addressed by civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, scholars, researchers and historians, such as, in this particular case, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance and the Russian Memorial Society, inter alia.
A better knowledge of our common history requires constant dialogue among historians, scholars and the general public. In this regard, the itinerant exhibition ‘Different Wars’, developed by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, which is financially supported by the Commission, is a good example.
The exhibition reveals the variation in the narration and perception of the history of the Second World War in modern high school textbooks of the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Russia. Projects such as this one that engage historians and societies should help creating more similar perception of significant historical events among European peoples.