Daria Martin, Schering Stiftung Projektraum

 

Neighbors: Foreigners or Friends?

Is it similar for Germans and Czechs? They have, after all, been neighbors for a long time, and for a large part of their history even lived in one empire. Yet their relationship today is not free of tension, weighed down by the Second World War, the period of the Iron Curtain and the repercussions of the EU enlargement in the border areas of both countries.

"Neighbors: Foreigners or Friends?" was the title of a MitOst project workshop, which brought together 20 pupils from Regensburg and the Czech city of Domazlice. In the truest sense of the word. In April 2005, the young people traveled to the other country, where they stayed with families. On site they gathered information on backgrounds and conflicts starting in 1848—and presented the results back in their home towns. What do the Czechs think about the Germans—and vice versa? What prejudices are there? Does the dark past still play a role? Not an insurmountable one, from the look of it. The 20 pupils became friends and want to meet again.

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