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40 Years of Supporting German-Polish Collaboration
In this special, discover in interviews, images, audio recordings, and videos how the Robert Bosch Stiftung has actively supported and shaped German-Polish collaboration for 40 years.
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1970
Willy Brandt’s Kniefall von Warschau (“Warsaw Genuflection”)

Upon being elected chancellor of West Germany in 1969, Willy Brandt – in contrast to his three predecessors – turned his attention to the East, ushering in a policy of détente for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971.

During his trip to Warsaw on December 7, 1970, for the purpose of signing the basic treaty on the normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the People’s Republic of Poland (Treaty of Warsaw), Brandt visited the monument to the victims of the uprising in the Jewish ghetto in 1943 and then knelt down before it – to the surprise of those in attendance. This was a gesture that was viewed as an act of remorse and humility around the world and has gone down in history as one of the most significant gestures of German postwar politics.

While the treaty did revive the relationship between Germany and Poland, diplomatic relations between the two countries were only officially begun later in 1972.

1974

Support for German-Polish Collaboration: How It All Began …In 1974, Robert Bosch Stiftung began actively supporting German-Polish collaboration. What today seems obvious was a pioneering achievement at the time. Many people in the Federal Republic of Germany simply could not imagine establishing direct contact with the communist nations behind the Iron Curtain. The foundation’s leaders, however, viewed Germany’s relationship with Poland and France as the key to reconciliation between the …

… nations of Europe. In 1974, the foundation first supported a project in Poland – a scientific publication. In this publication, researchers from Germany and Poland evaluated German-Polish relations and identified ways to normalize the relationship between the two neighbors. In addition to exchange programs for scientists and a total of 50 study trips for experts from agriculture, culture, and universities, an important component of German-Polish relations was establishing a guest professorship with a focus on Poland at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 1982.

Over the following years, Robert Bosch Stiftung developed into a key intermediary between Poland and Germany, with the foundation having either initiated or supported nearly all German projects carried out with Poland until the 1990s. This multitude of projects and partnerships resulted in a close-knit network of personal contacts between Poland and Germany that remains intact today.

This network includes foundations such as the Polish Children’s and Youth Foundation, NGOs like the Center for International Relations, and key intellectual and influential figures such as Władysław Bartoszewski, the former Polish ambassador to Germany Janusz Reiter, and the current Polish ambassador to Germany Jerzy Margański. Establishing contacts across the Iron Curtain was a challenge for Robert Bosch Stiftung, which is why ...

... the foundation’s activities “are not geared toward spectacular, publicly visible progress, but rather on information and awareness over the long term,” as former German President Richard von Weizsäcker wrote in a celebratory publication in 2000. “In a rather silent and simultaneously unique manner”, the foundation concentrates on bringing together people from the worlds of culture, science, and education, as well as counteracting the ideological politics of division between East and West.

  • Visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bartoszewski Photo: Robert Bosch Stiftung Visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bartoszewski on October 11, 1995, to the Robert Bosch House in Stuttgart; to his left Karl Dedecius, to his right Ulrich Bopp, former CEO of Robert Bosch Stiftung
1978
Karol Wojtyła Elected Pope

When on October 16, 1978, Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Krakow, was elected pope – the first non-Italian pope for 455 years – Poland, which is highly influenced by the Catholic Church, experienced one of its highest levels of international attention in its postwar history. In 1978, Marion Gräfin Dönhoff explained the significance of a Pole becoming the Catholic pope in the Die Zeit newspaper: “Because the Polish people’s faith was hardened in many fires; because the man who now is the head of the Holy See knows the reality of the East better than any of his predecessors; because the goal of his wishes and his desires is to overcome the division of Europe and to reunite the fragmented church.”

As a result of having John Paul II, a fellow countryman, as the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a stronger feeling of togetherness developed in Poland, and an identity and national pride began to form in the country long shaken by the turmoil of war and now under a communist dictatorship.

Because of his widespread popularity in Germany, Pope John Paul II also played a role in increasing awareness of the neighbors to the east and overcoming prejudices.

1979

Language as a Prerequisite for Understanding: Teacher and Language PromotionIn the late 1970s, Robert Bosch Stiftung established an advanced training program for teachers of German and university lecturers from Poland, from which approximately 1,700 Polish students of German language and literature benefited between 1979 and 2002.

After 1989, Robert Bosch Stiftung expanded the program to include all Central and Eastern European nations, and in doing so founded the Internationales Deutschlehrerkolleg (an international training program for nonnative teachers of German).

  • Krzysztof Stęsik in the lecture hall of Collegium Minus Photo: Jan Zappner Krzysztof Stęsik in the lecture hall of Collegium Minus
  • Krzysztof Stęsik in the stairwell of Adam Mickiewicz University’s rector’s office Photo: Jan Zappner Krzysztof Stęsik in the stairwell of Adam Mickiewicz University’s rector’s office
  • The front of the university’s main building Photo: Jan Zappner The front of the university’s main building
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • On an excursion to Lake Constance Photo: Privatarchiv On an excursion to Lake Constance
  • A seminar day at Leibniz Kolleg Photo: Privatarchiv A seminar day at Leibniz Kolleg
  • Sing-along, Leibniz Kolleg Photo: Privatarchiv Sing-along, Leibniz Kolleg

Student Exchange Program across the Iron CurtainUntil the fall of the Iron Curtain, 28,000 German and Polish high school and college students traveled to the other country. Looking back, one can almost speak of a privately supported youth organization without East Germany’s involvement.

The primary focus was becoming acquainted with and having interactions with the neighboring country. As such, Robert Bosch Stiftung also supported 150 school partnerships, until the German Polish Youth Office took over this role.

  • Student exchange with Poland Photo: Hubert Eiden Student exchange with Poland
  • Student exchange with Poland Photo: Tomasz Romaniuk Student exchange with Poland
  • Student exchange with Poland, Mozart opera Photo: Tomasz Romaniuk Student exchange with Poland, Mozart opera
  • Student exchange with Poland Photo: Tomasz Romaniuk Student exchange with Poland
  • Student exchange with Poland Photo: Hubert Eiden Student exchange with Poland

Student Exchanges Done Differently: Junge Wege in Europa – Joint Projects by School Students and Youth Groups in Germany and CEEHow can joint projects be developed and carried out internationally at schools in Europe? How can school partnerships be linked to interesting work with partners?

By going down „young paths“ in Europe, for example. With the competition Junge Wege in Europa – Joint Projects by School Students and Youth Groups in Germany and CEE, the foundation supported joint projects carried out by students and youth groups from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe between 1998 and 2009.

Within the scope of this program, 161 German-Polish school and youth partnerships were supported. In addition, six German schools received support in establishing long-term partnerships with Polish partners over a period of three years.

  • Junge Wege in Europa, presentation of award-winning projects, Berlin Photo: Dirk Enters Junge Wege in Europa, presentation of award-winning projects, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa, presentation of award-winning projects, Berlin Photo: Dirk Enters Junge Wege in Europa, presentation of award-winning projects, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2003, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2003, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2002, Berlin. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, former prime minister of Poland Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2002, Berlin. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, former prime minister of Poland
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
  • Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin Photo: Susanne Kern Junge Wege in Europa 2001, Berlin
1981
A Wave of Solidarity

At the beginning of the 1980s, Poland was stuck in a deep economic crisis. Food was already in short supply, and when meat prices increased on July 1, 1980, it triggered a nationwide wave of strikes. The Solidarność trade union – which, under the leadership of the Gdańsk shipyard worker and later president Lech Wałęsa, was the driving force behind the political revolution in Poland and the later collapse of the Eastern Bloc – grew out of this movement.

When martial law was invoked in Poland in December 1981, and the leading members of Solidarność were interned and the trade union’s work prohibited, it led to protests around the world and triggered a wave of solidarity. Charitable aid particularly came from Germany in the early 1980s in the form of care packages and donations for the people of Poland suffering from food shortages.

Dialog between Cultures: the Deutsches Polen-Institut in DarmstadtThe Deutsches Polen-Institut in Darmstadt, which was founded in 1981 with Robert Bosch Stiftung’s support, focuses on the cultural dialog between Germany and Poland. The institute quickly grew into a center for Polish history, politics, culture, and society, as well as German-Polish relations. The institute carries out a number of duties:

It brings together real-world science and research, educational offerings for schools and universities, political forums, and public events. Since the institute’s founding, it has made countless projects possible and established close-knit networks. The Karl Dedecius Prize, which has been awarded since 2003 and is named after its founder, honors Polish translators of German-language literature and German translators of Polish-language literature.

A Particular Compliment to Polish Culture: The Polish Library (1981–2000)In the early 1980s, Robert Bosch Stiftung made „The Polish Library“ possible with initial funding of one million deutsche marks. On the initiative of translator Karl Dedecius, a representative selection of Polish literature from baroque to contemporary was translated into German, opening up the literary wealth of the neighboring country to a large audience in Germany.

The Deutsches Polen-Institut published the 50-volume series of books through the Suhrkamp publishing company over the course of 20 years. The library is an extraordinary recognition of the neighboring country’s cultural achievements and history, which at the time were almost completely unknown to the German public. Furthermore, numerous accompanying events were also held, and the series of books was made available to many libraries and other institutions.

The Czech Library, with its 33 volumes, and The Turkish Library, with 20 volumes, were both modeled after this ambitious project.

  • Awarding of the Karl Dedecius Prize to Esther Kinsky and Ryszard Turczyn, 2011 Awarding of the Karl Dedecius Prize to Esther Kinsky and Ryszard Turczyn, 2011
  • Awarding of the Karl Dedecius Prize, Ryszard Turczyn, Karl Dedecius, Esther Kinsky Awarding of the Karl Dedecius Prize, Ryszard Turczyn, Karl Dedecius, Esther Kinsky

The Art of Mediation: 30 Years of Supporting TranslatorsTranslators have long been considered the gray mice of the literature world. And yet many of them are extremely talented in their art and simultaneously act as intermediaries between two cultures. The foundation supports the art of translation as well as the exchange of ideas and opinions and networking among translators within German-Polish and, above all, multilateral programs.

Supporting translators of literature as agents of cultural exchange began with a drumbeat. In 1980, Karl Dedecius initiated the ambitious long-term project of The Polish Library, which was published by the Suhrkamp publishing company. The creation of the individual volumes was supported by informational trips for translators and publishers as well as by workshops and coaching sessions for individual translators. The prize for Polish translators has been awarded since 1981, with nine distinguished translators ...

... receiving the award for their lifetime achievements between 1983 and 1992, and afterwards patronage awards going to up-and-coming translators. Since 2003, the Karl Dedecius Prize has also been awarded to German translators of Polish literature. The completion of The Polish Library in 2000 happened at the same time as Poland’s appearance as a guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This resulted in the traditions and present age of Polish literature ...

... being present on the German book market like never before. The flow of literary translations was expanded in the 1990s to include the translations of historiographical works and political textbooks. Starting in 2000, Robert Bosch Stiftung’s support for translators was further expanded based on the experience gathered in German-Polish projects. For example, a prize similar to the Polish translator prize ...

... was created for Czech translators. The multilateral Building Literary Bridges support program was established in 2003 and offers a wealth of support opportunities in the form of advanced training seminars, publications, grants, and events. A large, close-knit network of literary translators has developed over the years, and a fixed part of the activities include the cooperative exchange of ideas and opinions among themselves as well as collaboration with authors, literature critics, and publishers.

  • Andrzej Kopacki Photo: Joanna Kopacka Andrzej Kopacki
  • Andrzej Kopacki Photo: Olaf Kühl Andrzej Kopacki

Zitat:

„Robert Bosch Stiftung had long been active in Poland when German politicians were still observing carefully, and with hesitation. Specifically, when we in Germany took much too long to decide whether or not to support Solidarność, Bosch had long been there …

… and was responsible for the activities that politicians were able to pick up on in 1989. The wealth of translations that had been provided did not go unknown in Poland. I remember many encounters with Solidarność supporters who repeatedly said, “There is one thing we forbid you from doing: please do not look down on us, but view as equals.” ….

They greatly appreciated that their literature was translated and published in Germany. This gave them the feeling that they were being taken seriously. This went above and beyond the field of literature; for example, bridges were built in the field of music through mutual exchanges of information, opinions, and ideas.“

Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth, former president of the German Bundestag
in her speech honoring Robert Bosch Stiftung and the charitable Hertie Stiftung (2006) as they received a prize from Carlo-Schmid-Stiftung.

1982

Center of Academic Studies on Poland in Germany: “Focus on Poland” at Johannes Gutenberg University MainzThe visiting professorship with a focus on Poland at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is rapidly becoming a key component of German-Polish relations and is developing into a center of academic studies on Poland in Germany.

The establishment of the so-called focus on Poland at the university in Mainz – at its core a two-semester visiting professorship for a Polish professor of varying fields, combined with the establishment of a library for Polish studies, the ability for students to take trips to Poland, and Polish courses – was quite innovative.

As a result, a larger group of German students have the opportunity to intensively learn about Polish language and culture, as well as the country’s development. After five years, the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate assumed responsibility for financing the visiting professorship.

1985

Many Cultures – One Language: the Adelbert von Chamisso PrizeRobert Bosch Stiftung has awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize. a literary prize for German-language authors whose work is shaped by a change of culture, since 1985. It is a unique award in the German-speaking world and traces back to an idea from the scholar of Romance philology and linguist Harald Weinrich.

The particular character of Chamisso literature lies in the content and style that the author uses to examine their change of culture and language, which also often shaped the biographies of the authors. Sometimes it offers deep insights into the culture of their home countries, but sometimes also surprising insights into social reality in Germany. In any case, one remarkable aspect is the literature’s perceptive use of the German language.

Since 1985, the foundation has awarded the prize to a total of 68 writers from over 20 different countries. This includes many well-known authors such as Rafik Schami, Terezia Mora, Feridun Zaimoglu, and Ilija Trojanow, as well as several authors with Polish heritage such as Artur Becker, Radek Knapp and Matthias Nawrat. …

They all stand for high literary quality and a delicate use of the German language.

1989
Entering a New Era

In 1988, it became increasingly clear to the political leadership in Poland that it would be impossible to enact reforms in the population without the participation of the oppositional trade union Solidarność.

This realization led to roundtable talks between February 6 and April 5, 1989, in Warsaw. Representatives from the governing Polish United Workers’ Party, Solidarność, the Catholic Church, and other social groups participated in the talks.

On June 4 and 18, 1989, the first partly free parliamentary elections were held in Poland since World War II, and Solidarność emerged victorious, which further accelerated the systemic change in the country.

When German Chancellor Helmut Kohl visited Poland on November 12, 1989, to take part in a meeting of reconciliation held in Krzyżowa in Lower Silesia with Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the Polish prime minister of the first administration accepted by a majority of the Polish people, the wall in Berlin was simultaneously beginning to crumble. After the only free parliamentary election in East Germany in March 1990, there was no longer anything standing in the way of the reunification of the two German nations.

In retrospect, the meeting in Krzyżowa is viewed as a symbol of a fresh start in the relationship between the two countries.

1990
Era of Defining Treaties and Reconciliation

After the collapse of East Germany and German reunification, the final end to the debate regarding the Oder–Neisse line as the eastern border of Germany also approached. Many Polish people’s worries were dispelled when, with the signing of the German-Polish border treaty on November 14, 1990, the existing border and its inviolability were confirmed by both sides.

On June 17, 1991, another milestone in the two nations’ collaboration took place in Bonn: the signing of the treaty of good neighborship and friendly cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland by Helmut Kohl, Hans Dietrich Genscher, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, and Krzysztof Skubiszewski. This treaty remains the framework for cooperation between the two countries today; among other things, it guarantees German support for Poland with regard to EU and NATO membership. In addition, the exchange of ideas and mutual support in countless areas are also stipulated.

In June 2011, the German and Polish governments released a joint statement in Warsaw on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the German-Polish treaty of good neighborship. In it, the two sides place emphasis on an even closer partnership in order to “continue the process of reconciliation between Germans and Poles.”.

1991
Discussions on All Levels and Symbolic Political Gestures

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the number of visits to the neighboring country by German and Polish politicians and members of parliament – from the federal down to the municipal level – has been extremely high. For example, in 1991, the trilateral partnership (Weimar Triangle) between Germany, France, and Poland was created; since 1997, German-Polish summit meetings have taken place based on a Western European model. The German-Polish Youth Office has brought young people from both countries together in programs and projects since 1991.

Furthermore, the beginning of the 1990s was an era of major political gestures. On the Polish side, the invitation of German President Roman Herzog to the commemoration of the victims of the Warsaw uprising on August 1, 1994, had symbolic character. German President Richard von Weizsäcker paid a parting visit to his Polish counterpart at the end of his term in June 1994. German President Johannes Rau took one of his first trips abroad together with President Aleksander Kwaśniewski on September 1, 1999, to the Westerplatte near Gdańsk, Poland, where the German shelling 60 years prior began World War II. Only a few days before, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder visited the memorial in Palmiry, near Warsaw, together with Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. Inviting Foreign Minister Władysław Bartoszewski to speak as the only foreign guest at the German Bundestag’s event held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II was also a gesture of high symbolic political value. In his speech, the former concentration camp prisoner emphasized the quality of the two countries’ relations, which only years before were almost unimaginable, saying: “I particularly appreciate the normal, everyday nature of the relationship between Germans and Poles. I think we sometimes too easily forget how far we once were from this level of normality.”

1992

For Better Access to Our Mutual Cultural Heritage: Online Cataloging of
Printed Works (1992–2001)
Between 1992 and 2001, over 40,000 publications of Polish and German cultural heritage as well as over five million prints from the 16th to 18th centuries and newspapers from the 19th century were digitized and cataloged.

The sources are available around the world thanks to a catalog that can be viewed online. For a period of nine years, Robert Bosch Stiftung supported measures related to the project and the collaboration of the German-Polish advisory council.

It’s a Small World: International Tutor Program (1992–2005)This program was established in 1992 and supported 70 up-and-coming academics each year. Graduates of American, French, Polish, Czech, and Russian universities spent one academic year as a tutor at universities, technical colleges, pedagogical institutes, foreign language centers, and high schools in Germany.

The program was established by Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation with the Deutsche Studentenwerk (DSW) association for student affairs. The tutors’ duties included offering language courses, conversational exercises, and discussion groups on topics related to their country of origin, as well as film and music nights at student clubs, cultural centers, or intercultural meeting places.

In addition, the tutors also took on consulting duties at the universities’ international offices. Between 1996 and 2005, a total of 90 Polish college graduates were invited to Germany for one year to teach Polish language and regional studies and familiarize their contemporaries with Polish culture.

  • 2004 Tutor Program Photo: RBSG 2004 Tutor Program
1993

Building Literary Bridges – Program for TranslatorsThis program is geared toward professional literature translators who translate from German or into German. In cooperation with various partner organizations, the foundation offers a variety of support opportunities, including workshops, advanced training seminars, grants, events, and publications.

The focus here is on translators discussing ideas and opinions and networking amongst themselves, establishing translators in the contemporary literature scene, and increasing the public’s awareness of the art of translating and translators’ hard work and commitment. Over 150 translators of Polish and German-language literature have received support through the program since 2003.

Conveying an Up-to-Date Image of Germany: LectureshipsThe foundation has sent German college graduates for one- or two-year visits to universities in Eastern Europe since 1993, as well as to China since 2009. These graduates teach German and German studies or current issues and new methodological approaches in business, law, history, political science, and social pedagogy at universities.

During their stay, they participate in an advanced training program designed especially for them entitled “Education Management at Universities in Eastern Europe and China.” Since the 2003/04 school year, young and qualified academics from the countries where lectureships are carried out – so-called tandem lecturers – have also been involved in the program. Between the years of 1994 and 2008, a total of 83 lecturers and Polish tandem lecturers were supported in Poland.

  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Campaign to keep young Poles in the country by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper Photo: Ulrike Würz Campaign to keep young Poles in the country by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper
  • New Russian Orthodox churches being built Photo: Ulrike Würz New Russian Orthodox churches being built
  • Pope John Paul II was omnipresent Photo: Ulrike Würz Pope John Paul II was omnipresent
  • Ulrike Würz’s daughter Ella Photo: Ulrike Würz Ulrike Würz’s daughter Ella
  • Jewish cemeteries in remote forests that were deserted but not forgotten Photo: Ulrike Würz Jewish cemeteries in remote forests that were deserted but not forgotten
  • The Krzyżowa Foundation welcomes its guests all year round – the door and gate are not locked Photo: Jan Zappner The Krzyżowa Foundation welcomes its guests all year round – the door and gate are not locked
  • Dominik Kretschmann at his desk in the offices of the Krzyżowa Foundation memorial site Photo: Jan Zappner Dominik Kretschmann at his desk in the offices of the Krzyżowa Foundation memorial site
  • Dominik Kretschmann Photo: Jan Zappner Dominik Kretschmann
  • Dominik Kretschmann Photo: Jan Zappner Dominik Kretschmann
  • Dominik Kretschmann Photo: Jan Zappner Dominik Kretschmann
  • Portraits of the members of the Kreisauer Kreis (“Kreisau circle”) invite visitors to the memorial site to learn about its history Photo: Jan Zappner Portraits of the members of the Kreisauer Kreis (“Kreisau circle”) invite visitors to the memorial site to learn about its history
  • Bydgoszcz, students Photo: Privatarchiv Bydgoszcz, students
  • Tallinn, Lektoren beim Zwischentreffen 1996 Photo: Privatarchiv Tallinn, Lektoren beim Zwischentreffen 1996
  • Tallinn, lecturers at a get-together in 1996 Photo: Privatarchiv TTallinn, lecturers at a get-together in 1996
1999

German and Polish Volunteer Exchange: Volunteer Work for Young People, Culture, Nature, and EducationBetween 1999 and 2002, about 250 people volunteered in social services, in children and youth work, in nature and historic-monument conservation, …

… and in civic and historical education. German volunteers were sent to Polish nongovernmental organizations, and Polish volunteers to German organizations.

For More Communication and Networking: Johann Gottfried Herder InitiativeBetween 1999 and 2005, the foundation, in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service, sent more than 100 German professors and lecturers emeriti to universities in Poland. Through their expert knowledge and the lectures they offered, they supported these universities …

… in becoming more international, and thanks to their experience, they played a key role in improving higher education and expanding cooperation between Germany and Poland. The foundation continues to carry out the program in Central Asia and China.

From Receiving Foundation Support to Being a Foundation Partner: Poland as a Partner and Co-Organizer of Multilateral ProjectsThe character of the foundation’s activities with regard to Poland changed after the country joined NATO and the EU. Today, Poland is often no longer a recipient of the foundation’s support, but instead is a partner in joint projects carried out in Russia, Ukraine, or the Caucasus.

For example, alumni of the fellowship program for young executives from Central Europe now themselves invited counterparts from government agencies in Eastern Europe to Poland and introduced to them to EU standards. Furthermore, the foundation initiated a German-Polish-Russian discussion forum.

  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2008, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Berlin Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Berlin
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Berlin Ruprecht Polenz, Josef Krieg Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Berlin Ruprecht Polenz, Josef Krieg
  • Deutsch-Polnisches Gesprächsforum 2007, Warschau Photo: Marc Darchinger Deutsch-Polnisches Gesprächsforum 2007, Warschau
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Warsaw Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Warsaw
  • German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Warsaw Photo: Marc Darchinger German-Polish Discussion Forum 2007, Warsaw
2000

German-Polish Expert Exchange for Europe: Copernicus GroupThe continued – and evidently even increasing – sensitivity in German-Polish relations since the end of the 1990s was the reason for a project that was launched in the year 2000 by the Deutsches Polen-Institut and the Germany and Northern Europe institute (Instytut Niemiec i Europy Północnej (INIEP)) in Szczecin.

The scholar Nicolaus Copernicus was selected as patron of the project, since he was an open-minded innovator who asked questions, searched for answers, did not allow himself to be claimed by one nation, and – admired by Germans and Poles alike – was a European in the best sense of the word. During the semiannual sessions, …

… the group discussed possible developments in German-Polish relations and identified contentious issues. The joint analysis lead to a strategy paper that was made available to the public through the media. In 2007, the group published its intermediate findings in book form. In the meantime, the group has published 22 working papers.

2001

Getting Students Excited about Intercultural Learning: International Understanding at SchoolBetween 2001 and 2011, Robert Bosch Stiftung sent native speakers who were aspiring to become teachers of German to schools in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, as well as China, for three or six months. The fellows taught German as a foreign language and initiated student projects whose goal was to arouse curiosity about other cultures and get students excited …

about intercultural learning. The program’s alumni include Thomas Strobel, who, since 2005, has worked as a research assistant at the Georg Eckert Institute and as academic secretary of the "German-Polish History Textbook project", which, among other things, is dedicated to coming to terms with history as part of the Joint German-Polish Textbook Commission.

The program was carried out in cooperation with the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (educational exchange service) and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA). Between 2000 and 2011, a total of 49 fellows spent time working at Polish schools.

Experience Diversity, Shape Democracy: Theodor-Heuss-KollegThis program was carried out between 2001 and 2011 as an international German-language program, the goal of which was to encourage young people from 25 countries in Central, Southeastern, and Eastern Europe to participate in sociopolitical projects, practice democratic rules, and assume responsibility for themselves and others. The participants received foundation support for one year, …

… during which they attended international seminars where they could exchange and develop ideas for new projects and receive training in practical skills. Thanks to funding from the foundation, the best project ideas were subsequently implemented. Between 2001 and 2011, a total of 90 young people from Poland participated in the Theoder-Heuss-Kolleg program. Many of them continue to work toward improving their society today as alumni of the program.

Furthermore, in 2010, within the scope of a Ukrainian workshop program about civic engagement (Werkstatt des zivilgesellschaftlichen Engagements), joint seminars were held for young people from the Poland-Ukraine border regions. The participants worked with additional partners to develop several small projects that they implemented in their hometowns in their respective countries.

Today, the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg encourages young people from over 30 countries in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia, to play an active role in their society on the basis of democratic values. In the last ten years, a total of 1,756 young people from 34 countries received support through the program. A total of 527 volunteer projects were carried out with the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg’s support. The program is carried out by MitOst e.V. association.

  • Awarding of the Theodor-Heuss-Medaille prize to the MitOst e.V. association founded by Bosch lecturers, 2004, with former President of Germany Johannes Rau Awarding of the Theodor-Heuss-Medaille prize to the MitOst e.V. association founded by Bosch lecturers, 2004, with former President of Germany Johannes Rau
  • Awarding of the Theodor-Heuss-Medaille prize to the MitOst e.V. association founded by Bosch lecturers, 2004 Awarding of the Theodor-Heuss-Medaille prize to the MitOst e.V. association founded by Bosch lecturers, 2004
  • Awarding of the Theodor-Heuss-Medaille prize to the MitOst e.V. association founded by Bosch lecturers, Stuttgart, 2004, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Ludwig Theodor Heuss Awarding of the Theodor-Heuss-Medaille prize to the MitOst e.V. association founded by Bosch lecturers, Stuttgart, 2004, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Ludwig Theodor Heuss
  • Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2007 Photo: George Kalozois Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2007
  • 10 years Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2011 Photo: Kamila Zimmermann 10 years Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2011
  • Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2004, Berlin Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2004, Berlin
  • Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2004, Berlin Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, 2004, Berlin

Fellowship program for young executives from countries in Central and Eastern EuropeThe fellowship program for young executives from Central Europe was carried out between 2001 and 2011. The young executives from the public sector (municipal governments, government-owned enterprises, charitable organizations, etc.) spent time working at EU, federal, state, and municipal agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations, and also participated in intensive seminars.

Since 2001, a total of 84 young Polish executives participated in the program. The program has been continued since 2011 for young leaders from Turkey, Russia, and the nations of the Eastern Partnership.

  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Maciej Zathey Photo: Jan Zappner Maciej Zathey
  • Photo: Jan Zappner
  • Photo: Jan Zappner

A Forum for Media Representatives in Leadership Positions: German-Polish Editor-in-Chief MeetingThe German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting was a forum for media representatives and was held between 2001 and 2006, alternating annually between Germany and Poland. The meeting offered journalists a platform for discussion and critical examination of current topics related to German-Polish relations.

All in all, over 350 journalists from Poland and Germany participated in the forum. The meeting was most recently held in cooperation with the Center for International Relations and the Media Tandem foundation – both located in Warsaw – as well as Staatskanzlei Brandenburg.

  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland Photo: Center for International Relations German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland Photo: Center for International Relations German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2000, Essen German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2000, Essen
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2002, Essen German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2002, Essen
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland Photo: Center for International Relations German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland Photo: Center for International Relations German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Warsaw, Poland
  • Deutsch-polnisches Chefredakteurtreffen 2002, Essen Deutsch-polnisches Chefredakteurtreffen 2002, Essen
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2002, Essen German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2002, Essen
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2002, Essen German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2002, Essen
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2006 German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2006
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2006, Klaus Wenger, Ute Minke-Koenig, Ruprecht Polenz German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, 2006, Klaus Wenger, Ute Minke-Koenig, Ruprecht Polenz
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Poland Photo: Centrum Stosunków Miedzynarodowych German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Poland
  • German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Poland Photo: Centrum Stosunków Miedzynarodowych German-Polish Editor-in-Chief Meeting, Poland
2002

Professional Management and Intercultural Skills for International Cultural Exchange: Cultural Managers in and from Central and Eastern EuropeRobert Bosch Stiftung promoted cultural exchange within Europe by sending select fellows to foreign cultural institutions. The goal of the program was …

to strengthen the network structures and intercultural skills of individuals engaged in the cultural sector in Europe. The cultural managers worked as a part of their guest institutions’ local teams, and in doing so became acquainted with normal working life in another country. In addition to their industry-specific knowledge, they incorporated their contacts into their work and helped create international networks of the related institutions. As part of innovative projects, they offered young artists and people working in the cultural sector opportunities to present their work …

… in foreign countries and conveyed an up-to-date image of their country of origin. Over 170 people and over 120 cultural institutions from over 20 countries received foundation support within the scope of this project, and today are part of the Robert Bosch cultural manager network, which was founded by alumni in 2013. A total of 14 Polish fellows received foundation support, and eight German cultural managers worked at different cultural institutions in Poland.

KulturKurzStrecken (short cultural trips) in the German-Polish border region . A new trolley connection was created at the train station in Görlitz: for two days, trolley line 2 was converted into the location of an unusual, interactive cultural festival, which allowed trolley passengers to take a trip through Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, and Poland.

BorderSpeaking: a New Perspective on Borders Together with the cultural centers in the cities of Braniewo, Bartoszyce, Węgorzewo, and Gołdap, all located along the Polish-Russian border, the Borussia foundation used the project BorderSpeaking to invite people to mentally cross the nearby border.

Mendelsohn Salon Perspectives on the contemporary discussion about the city’s German-Jewish past.

Omnibus - Animated Films from Eastern EuropeA total of 20 animated films were shown from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe related to the four categories of immigration, communication, financial crisis, and feminism.

Forbidden Music – Master Class and Concerts The art of reflecting on Europe’s cultural heritage.

Polklore – Polish Folklore in the City of Stuttgart Young Polish artists used different formats and genres such as poster campaigns, sound installations, concerts, and performances to establish contact with Stuttgart audiences as directly as possible.

TransForma The artists from Belarus, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, as well as students of the seminar on spatial relationships at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, studied the relationships between public and private spaces, social and cultural spaces, and urban space and open spaces, as well as the mutual influences people and spaces have on one another.

  • Cultural Managers, Stuttgart, 2007 Photo: Michael Fuchs Cultural Managers, Stuttgart, 2007
  • BorderSpeaking. A New Perspective on Borders Photo: Fundacja Borussia BorderSpeaking. A New Perspective on Borders
  • BorderSpeaking. A New Perspective on Borders Photo: Fundacja Borussia BorderSpeaking. A New Perspective on Borders

Strengthening Municipal Partnerships: City Partnerships – Citizen PartnershipsThe goal of this program, which was carried out between 2001 and 2006, was to stimulate and strengthen municipal partnerships through the collaboration between German initiatives and associations with Polish and Czech partners. Applications were open …

to citizen’s initiatives that carried out transnational projects with partner cities in Poland and the Czech Republic – such as those in the fields of youth work, education, social work, community work, or the environment.

A total of 93 projects received foundation support within the scope of German-Polish city partnerships until the program’s end in 2006. The program was carried out together with the Polish Stefan Batory Foundation and the information center for charitable organizations in the Czech Republic.

2003

Building Literary Bridges Between Poland and Germany: the Karl Dedecius PrizeEvery two years, Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Deutsches Polen-Institut award the Karl Dedecius Prize for Polish Translators of German Literature and German Translators of Polish Literature. This prize honors and supports the translators with 10,000 euros each for building literary bridges between Germany and Poland.

The prize is named after Karl Dedecius, the nestor of Polish literature translators and respected intermediary between Germany and Poland. A German-Polish jury with its honorary chairman, Dr. Karl Dedecius, selects the award winners.

This dual prize for Polish and German translators has been awarded since 2003; its predecessor was a patronage award for Polish translators of German literature that had been awarded since 1981. The last award ceremony was held on May 24, 2013, in Krakow, Poland. The prize was awarded to Jakub Ekier (Poland) and Bernhard Hartmann (Germany).

  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, prizewinner Olaf Kühl with author Andrzej Stasiuk, who spoke in his honor 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, prizewinner Olaf Kühl with author Andrzej Stasiuk, who spoke in his honor
  • Jakub Ekier, Bernhard Hartmann Photo: Pawel Mazur Jakub Ekier, Bernhard Hartmann
  • 2013 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow, Katharina Raabe Photo: Pawel Mazur 2013 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow, Katharina Raabe
  • 2003 Karl Dedecius Prize awarded to Krzysztof Jachimczak and Hans-Peter Hoelscher-Obermaier, Darmstadt Photo: Jürgen Schmidt 2003 Karl Dedecius Prize awarded to Krzysztof Jachimczak and Hans-Peter Hoelscher-Obermaier, Darmstadt
  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow
  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize awarded to Olaf Kühl, Krakow 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize awarded to Olaf Kühl, Krakow
  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, meeting with Karl Dedecius and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Wisława Szymborska, Krakow 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, meeting with Karl Dedecius and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Wisława Szymborska, Krakow
  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, meeting with Karl Dedecius and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Wisława Szymborska, Krakow; Dr. Joachim Rogall, Professor Jacob Purchla (Director MCK) 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, meeting with Karl Dedecius and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Wisława Szymborska, Krakow; Dr. Joachim Rogall, Professor Jacob Purchla (Director MCK)
  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow, Poland; In the audience: Wisława Szymborska and Karl Dedecius 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow, Poland; In the audience: Wisława Szymborska and Karl Dedecius
  • 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow, Dr. Karl Dedecius, Wisława Szymborska Photo: Pawel Mazur 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow, Dr. Karl Dedecius, Wisława Szymborska
  • The 2007 Karl Dedecius Prize winners: Martin Pollack Photo: Lukas Beck The 2007 Karl Dedecius Prize winners: Martin Pollack
  • Andrzej Stasiuk, Olaf Kühl, award ceremony for the 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow Photo: Marie Christina Hauptmeier Andrzej Stasiuk, Olaf Kühl, award ceremony for the 2005 Karl Dedecius Prize, Krakow

More than the History of German-Polish Cultural Relations: the Karl Dedecius ArchiveThe Karl Dedecius Archivewas established in 2001 when Karl Dedecius transferred his complete works to the university library of European University Viadrina. The goal is to further intensify activities in the field of translation, literature, and German-Polish relations.

As such, the library organizes exhibitions and conferences and also conducts academic projects. The contents of the archive are available to interested researchers for academic studies.

Crossing National and Cultural Borders: Border CrossersSince 2003, the foundation has offered well-known authors and newcomers scholarships that give them the opportunity to conduct research trips in the countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, as well as North Africa since 2012. This is how the foundation promotes learning about countries that are usually not the focus of artistic works. The publications may deal with a wide range of topics and focus on different countries …

… and historical periods. The genres may range from literary and essayistic prose and children’s books to screenplays for documentaries and radio shows. The program is carried out in cooperation with the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. Since the program’s inception, a total of 47 Border Crosser authors have conducted research in Poland, including Artur Becker, Jenny Erpenbeck, Marta Kijowska, Andrzej Klamt, Martin Pollack, and Katja Petrowskaja.

Border Crossers program

  • Book Cover Buchcover
  • Adam Jaromir Photo: Ali Ghandtschi Adam Jaromir
  • Marianne Wendt and Christian Schiller Photo: Markus Stein Marianne Wendt and Christian Schiller

Media – Mediators between PeoplesEach year, in cooperation with the Berliner Journalisten-Schule (Berlin school of journalism), Robert Bosch Stiftung offers a three-month scholarship program for journalists from Central and Eastern Europe. The journalists participating in the program spend four weeks in an advanced training seminar at the school for journalism as well as an internship in an editorial department.

The seminar offers consolidated knowledge of Germany and its international relationships, as well as about the European Union, before the participants complete a two-month internship at a renowned print, online, radio, or television editorial department in Berlin. During their stay, meetings and interviews with political and social personalities are also organized for the participants.

In return, experienced journalists from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are given the opportunity to work at an editorial department in Central and Eastern Europe for three months. A total of 50 Polish and German journalists have participated in the program since its inception.

  • Antje Ritter-Jasińska Photo: Rafal Leszczynski Antje Ritter-Jasińska
  • Cover Photo: Antje Ritter-Jasińska Cover
  • Arkadiusz Łuba Photo: Marcin Piekoszewski Arkadiusz Łuba
  • "Media Mediators" Photo: Amadeus Waldner "Media Mediators"
  • "Media Mediators" Photo: Amadeus Waldner "Media Mediators"
  • "Media Mediators" Photo: Amadeus Waldner "Media Mediators"
  • "Media Tandem" "Media Tandem"
2004
The End of the Barriers

In 1999, Poland joined NATO and, as part of the eastern expansion, became a member of the EU in 2004. Both memberships were supported by Germany. Nevertheless, the two neighbors sometimes take different positions. When it comes to security and energy policies, as well as foreign policy toward the United States and Russia, the two nations pursue different interests. Lech und Jarosław Kaczyński taking over the government in 2005 and 2006 also had newfound effects. The debate over the construction of a displaced-persons center called for by German associations for displaced persons triggered emotional reactions from the Polish side.

Since Donald Tusk became prime minister of Poland in 2007, the lively debate and countless visits at the highest political level have become an expression of friendly partnership between the two nations.

Since December 21, 2007, as a result of the Schengen Agreement, the borders between the two countries have been completely open.

International Partnerships: “Youth Banks” in German-Polish Border RegionsYoung people from both countries advised and monitored bilateral partnership projects between German and Polish young people and provided funding in the form of microbudgets.

These “Youth Banks” were established between 2004 and 2006 in cooperation with the German and Polish Children’s and Youth Foundation. Thanks to support from other local benefactors, a total of 84 microprojects received support.

Supporting Civic Engagement: Partnership for Social InitiativesThe foundation has supported the trilateral collaboration between nongovernmental organizations from Germany, Poland, and the Kaliningrad region within the scope of specific local projects since 2004. In 2006, both Belarus and Ukraine were incorporated into the program.

The focus of the program is on supporting local civic engagement through collaboration with partners from Germany and Poland. In this context, the Polish partners carried out the important function of building bridges to the eastern neighbors.

A total of 73 trilateral projects were supported within the scope of the program. The program was carried out for the last time in 2010 in cooperation with the Stefan Batory Foundation and the PAUCI Foundation

European Integration in Public Administration: the Bellevue ProgrammeThe Bellevue Programme was developed in 2004. Employees of top-level government agencies in Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, and France comprise the program’s target audience. It is specifically geared toward civil servants who have several years of experience in public administration and have taken on their first …

… leadership roles or are preparing for positions of leadership. The goal of the program is to support European integration at the administrative level and strengthen collaboration across national borders. The fellows participate in language classes, work at a public agency in a partner country for one year, and progress through three accompanying seminars on European political issues and the enhancement of leadership skills. Nine Polish civil servants have already participated in the Bellevue Programme.

On November 9, 2013, Paweł Dudzic, a civil servant who works at the Polish department of aviation, gave the introductory speech to the State of the Union address by Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, at the Allianz Forum in Berlin. As one of Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Bellevue fellows, he spent one year ...

working at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Building, and Urban Development and since then views himself as a European ambassador on a smaller scale, who advocates for tolerance, integration, cooperation, and collaboration both at the administrative level and in everyday life.

  • Paweł Dudzic, Bellevue Programme, opening the 2013 State of the Union address in Berlin Photo: Marco Urban Paweł Dudzic, Bellevue Programme, opening the 2013 State of the Union address in Berlin
  • Michael Hackethal Photo: BMWI Michael Hackethal
2005

Platform for Dialog and Networking and a Tour d’Horizon through Germany: The Diplomats’ CollegeThe Diplomats’ College is an innovative German-language platform for dialog and networking among accredited diplomats stationed in Germany from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, the South Caucasus, Turkey, Central Asia, and North Africa.

It is carried out in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), and it is comprised of a series of events that lead young diplomats on an interesting and varied tour of Germany over the course of a year. Seven Polish diplomats have already participated in the program.

  • Diplomats’ College, Berlin Photo: Stephanie Endter Diplomats’ College, Berlin
  • Diplomats’ College, Berlin Photo: Stephanie Endter Diplomats’ College, Berlin
  • Closing event, 6th Diplomats’ College, 15.06.2011, Berlin Photo: Stephanie Endter Closing event, 6th Diplomats’ College, 15.06.2011, Berlin
  • Diplomats’ College, Visit in Stuttgart, 23.11.2007 Photo: Robert Thiele
2008

German-Polish Media Days and German-Polish Journalist AwardThe German-Polish Media Days offer journalists and media experts from both countries a platform to exchange ideas and opinions and meet each other personally. Current and fundamental issues related to reporting on German-Polish relations are debated and reflected upon in panel discussions with high-caliber experts.

Each year, over 100 journalists, politicians, and experts hold panels and workshops, with an audience of 200–300 people from the industry participating in the event. The Media Days are organized and carried out by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and either a German state or Polish voivodeship near the border and supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung. The highlight of the Media Days is the awarding of the German-Polish Journalist Award, which is awarded by the German states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, and Saxony, as well as …

… the three neighboring Polish voivodeships West Pomerania, Lubusz, and Lower Silesia. Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation have also been a part of this award since 2008. The Media Days are organized in alternating years by Germany and Poland.

  • Bartosz Wieliński Photo: Bartosz Bobkowski Bartosz Wieliński
  • Barbara Coellen Photo: Tomek Czebatul Barbara Coellen
  • Jürgen Hingst Jürgen Hingst
  • 2011 German-Polish Media Days, Zielona Góra, Poland Photo: Karol Piechocki 2011 German-Polish Media Days, Zielona Góra, Poland
  • 2011 German-Polish Media Days, Zielona Góra, Poland Photo: Karol Piechocki 2011 German-Polish Media Days, Zielona Góra, Poland
  • 2011 German-Polish Media Days, Zielona Góra, Poland Photo: Karol Piechocki 2011 German-Polish Media Days, Zielona Góra, Poland
  • German-Polish Media Days, award ceremony of the 2009 German-Polish Journalist Award, Szczecin Photo: Karol Piechocki German-Polish Media Days, award ceremony of the 2009 German-Polish Journalist Award, Szczecin
  • 2008 German-Polish Journalist Award, Potsdam Photo: Simone Diestel 2008 German-Polish Journalist Award, Potsdam

Europe in a Suitcase: Dialog Trips by Senior Experts and Junior Teams to UkraineEvery year since 2008, a group of senior experts from Germany, Poland, and Ukraine have traveled around the Ukrainian regions. The goal of their travels is to discuss the prospects of strengthening the ties between the EU and Ukraine in roundtable talks and panel discussions. Representatives from local and regional government agencies as well as university students, professors, and representatives from NGOs comprise the target audience.

The focus of the discussions is not only on European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, but also the question of what makes Europe Europe and how to make European values something that people can experience. Between 2010 and 2013, close to 100 German and Polish experts participated in the program on the senior or junior teams.

The project has been successfully repeated since 2010 both in different regions and with different formats. Now “junior experts” from Germany and Poland who have stood out as committed Europeans are also being sent to Ukraine. Furthermore, they also traveled to Moldova, Armenia, and Belarus, meaning that many young people in these four countries have been reached by this format.

The program’s strategic partners include the Ukraine office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Polish branch of the Robert Schuman Foundation, the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kiev, the branch of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Armenia, and the European Academy Berlin.

  • Europe in a Suitcase, Ukraine 2012 Europe in a Suitcase, Ukraine 2012
  • Europe in a Suitcase: Junior team, Ukraine 2011 Europe in a Suitcase: Junior team, Ukraine 2011
  • Europe in a Suitcase, assessment seminar, Warsaw 2013 Europe in a Suitcase, assessment seminar, Warsaw 2013
  • Europe in a Suitcase: Junior team, Moldova, May 2013 Europe in a Suitcase: Junior team, Moldova, May 2013
2009

Experiencing Europe: Europe-Mobile ProjectSince 2009, university students from different EU countries have traveled in the Europe-Mobile bus for two week periods to schools around Europe (Germany, France, and Poland) to carry out workshops, simulation games, and seminars on European issues. The project strengthens their intercultural skills and turns the idea of Europe into something all of the students can experience.

As a result, they reach approximately 3,300 students between the ages of 13 and 17 each year at general and vocational schools. Over 20 Polish students have participated in the program since its inception. Europe-Mobile is a joint project carried out by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Genshagen, whose goal is to promote European dialog.

  • Thinking about the future of Europe, 2013, Polish participants Photo: David Außerhofer Thinking about the future of Europe, 2013, Polish participants
  • Thinking about the future of Europe, 2013, Polish participants Photo: David Außerhofer Thinking about the future of Europe, 2013, Polish participants
  • Thinking about the future of Europe, 2013, Polish participants Photo: David Außerhofer Thinking about the future of Europe, 2013, Polish participants
2011
Another First

German-Polish relations are still seeing firsts, even 66 years after the end of the war. For example, on January 27, 2011, Christian Wulff became the first German president to hold a speech at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp memorial and laid a wreath together with his Polish counterpart Bronisław Komorowski. This gesture was viewed as a symbol that the generations that did not experience the war will continue to pursue German-Polish reconciliation in the spirit of truth.

May 1, 2011, brought another first for German-Polish relations. On this day, seven years after Poland became a member of the EU, Polish citizens gained unrestricted access to the European labor market.

Not a first, but rather the 20-year anniversary of the German-Polish treaty of good neighborship was celebrated on June 17, 2011. On this occasion, a statement was signed in Warsaw that set forth an even closer partnership in order to “continue the process of reconciliation between Germans and Poles.”

2012

ViVaVostok – Discovering Children’s and Young-Adult Literature from Central and Eastern EuropeViVaVostok opens the door for the best and most-exciting authors of children’s and young-adult literature from Central and Eastern European countries to present their works in German-speaking regions. Innovative event organizers in German-speaking countries can receive financial support when they invite ...

... authors, illustrators, and translators to readings or workshops. This gives young readers the chance to immerse themselves in foreign worlds, personally meet foreign-language authors and illustrators, and feel the magic of inventive and imaginative literature. More information about the authors from Poland

TRANZYT: Literature from Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus at the Leipzig Book Fair between 2012 and 2014The goal of establishing this regional focus on events is to help continue breaking down any fear of contact and lack of knowledge that exist when it comes to our Eastern neighbors and identifying where these societies currently stand, which conflicts and utopias move them, and which cultural interactions connect them.

In this context, literature – like no other medium – seems suited to find the answers to these questions and make the realities in these countries comprehensible in all their complexity and inconsistency. Tranzyt is a project carried out by the Leipzig Book Fair, Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation in collaboration with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for Development of Ukraine, the Allianz Cultural Foundation, the book forum Vydavciv Lviv, …

… the Polish Book Institute, the Goethe-Institut Minsk, and the Leipzig office of the Polnisches Institut Berlin. It was carried out from 2012 to 2014.

  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: David Außerhofer TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: David Außerhofer TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • EUkraine: ukrainian booth Photo: Surwillo-Hahn EUkraine: ukrainian booth
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • Best wishes for Ukraine Photo: Surwillo-Hahn Best wishes for Ukraine
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014 Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014
  • Solidarity with Ukraine Photo: Surwillo-Hahn Solidarity with Ukraine
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014, Martin Pollack Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014, Martin Pollack
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Forum Focus Belarus Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Forum Focus Belarus
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Interview with Andrei Kurkow Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Interview with Andrei Kurkow
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Interview with Jurij Andruchowytsch Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Interview with Jurij Andruchowytsch
  • TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Serhij Zhadan Photo: Surwillo-Hahn TRANZYT at the Leipzig Book Fair 2014; Serhij Zhadan
2013

Leaders in Palliative Care: the European Palliative Care Academy (EUPCA)The importance of high-quality palliative care in the scope of public health care is growing across Europe. In order to provide the affected patients with the best possible care and to support their loved ones, developing highly qualified personnel is of utmost importance. Thanks to the EUPCA future leaders are given the skills they need to make advancements to palliative care in Europe and adequately face the future challenges …

… in this important field. The project’s strategic partners include Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, King’s College in London, University Hospital Cologne, Hospice Casa Sperantei in Brasov, and Robert Bosch Stiftung. Poland was the first country in the former Eastern Bloc that developed a palliative care sector in the 1980s.

This was possible within the scope of the social Solidarność movement. Volunteers continue to play a special and important role in palliative care in Poland today. As a result of this unique history, Robert Bosch Stiftung strived to carry out the EUPCA project with a Polish partner.

  • Małgorzata Krajnik Małgorzata Krajnik
  • Piotr Krakowiak Piotr Krakowiak

Urban Development through Culture in Europe: Actors of Urban ChangeThe Actors of Urban Change program strengthens the cross-sector collaboration between active members of the cultural scene, government, and business throughout Europe and promotes concepts for sustainable urban development through cultural activities.

The program is carried out in cooperation with MitOst e.V. and was launched in the summer of 2013. A team from Lublin is participating in the program during the 2013–2015 program year.

today
Poland in 2014 – Germany and the Neighbors to the East

The anniversary of many historic events will take place in 2014. Many of them were of key importance to the current geopolitical orientation of the European continent. Twenty-five years ago, the Iron Curtain that divided Europe into the Eastern and Western Blocs fell, as did the wall that separated the two parts of Germany from one another. In 2014, Poland will look back on ten years of membership in the EU, and the Eastern Partnership will celebrate the five-year anniversary of its founding.

DPoland joining the EU brought with it new opportunities to play a role in shaping the union and made a new level of quality in the German-Polish partnership in Europe possible – a level of quality that also led to more responsibility and obligations.

An example of this was the Weimar Triangle’s mission in crisis-stricken Ukraine in the form of a joint diplomatic-mediation mission carried out by the German, Polish, and French foreign ministers in February of this year.

Working as partners and assuming responsibility in and for Europe continue to be of substantial importance, both to the bilateral relationship between Poland and Germany and their ability to shape their European neighborhood together.

What Remains: Ideas to Support the Relationship between Two Neighboring PeoplesThe personal and institutional foundation of German-Polish relations that the foundation has helped establish over the course of the past four decades is today as close and intensive as hardly any other two neighbors in Europe – and certainly comparable with German-French relations.

Richard von Weizsäcker retrospectively described Robert Bosch Stiftung’s activities with regard to Poland as such: “In a rather calm and unique way, Robert Bosch Stiftung got involved early in the masterpiece that is rapprochement between Poland and Germany.

Since the end of World War II, there has hardly been another example of the breadth and depth of promoting the relationship between two neighboring peoples with private ideas and funds like this masterpiece.”

Outlook: Poland as a Proven Partner, Bridge Builder, and Model for Activities in Central and Eastern EuropeThe foundation developed key formats in Poland that now shape the foundation’s activities throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Established programs were expanded to include other countries, often in cooperation with Poland.

These include the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, which the foundation uses to support young people’s civic engagement, the Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg, which it uses to train tomorrow’s leaders in the field of international cooperation, and the Lectureship Program, in which it brings university graduates from Germany to Eastern European universities.

A positive development is that over the years, this commitment has developed a momentum of its own. Former Bosch lecturers founded the MitOst association, a strong network that is continuously expanding its role as a mediator in the region. At the present time, the association has 1,300 members from 40 different countries.

Today, the foundation’s activities in Central and Eastern Europe are primarily focused on supporting the development of a strong civil society – and with Poland’s help, directing attention further eastward. Furthermore, active citizens from Poland are a part of the Europe-wide programs like Actors of Urban Change, in which active citizens from culture, government, and business work together on their city’s development.

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