Polish-Russian Reconciliation: Implications for Europe

Date & time

Feb 21, 2012, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Free and open to the public.

About the lecture
The current state of Polish-Russian relations carries the burden of history, such as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact under which the Soviet Union and Germany secretly agreed to divide and invade Poland in 1939 and the Katyn Massacre for which the Soviets falsely blamed the Germans for killing thousands of Polish officers in 1940. Dialogue between Polish and Russian intellectuals, researchers and experts on this matter initiated in 2008, opened the new stage in Polish-Russian relations. As the result the common Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters was established.

Professor Rotfeld will draw upon the lessons learned from this process of historical reconciliation between Poland and Russia to show how it can be useful for other European countries with strained historical relationships. He will argue that the reconciliation process will be essential to establishing a new and effective Euro-Atlantic Security Community built on understanding, trust, and cooperation.

About the speaker
Adam Daniel Rotfeld is professor of humanities at Warsaw University and was the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs from January-October 2005. He has been the Polish Co-Chairman of the Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters since it was established in 2008.

Sponsored by: the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, International Policy Center, Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies, and the Center for European Studies.