Gabriela and her husband Uwe von Seltmann are the authors of the project „The Future of the Past“ which aims to emphasize the importance of the knowledge of our ancestors‘ past, especially when it is truly tragic (Uwe’s grandfather was an SS man in Cracow and Gabriela’s grandfather was murdered in Auschwitz).
They have spent a few years meeting Poles, Germans and Jews discussing how the families of victims and perpetrators can coexist in today’s world. Together they asked questions: How does the third-after-war generation relate to the family’s difficult past which overshadows their present? And how to shape the future in order to secure peaceful being together?
The research they have been doing is a challenge of social and political importance with an international dimension. Families of victims and perpetrators have to meet again and again, no matter if it is in Ruanda, the Balkan states, or in Germany/Poland.
Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt once said it was better to speak of the „future of the past“ rather than the „presence of the past“. The project is future-oriented in this very sense. It is only if we succeed in processing the past in an open way that a process of mutual understanding can set in, thus bringing about peaceful interaction in the present and the future.
You can read more about Gabriela and Uwe at www.uwe-von-seltmann.de.
The Auditorium Maximum is sold out, but Live streaming of the event will be accessible via TEDx-website.
All the Best
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