Our memory defines our identity

KARACHI: A discussion among consuls general of Russia, France and Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and to highlight the importance of a film festival ‘World War II – Testimony Archives’ that began at the Alliance Francaise on May 6, brought into focus interesting views on the role that memory plays in our lives at the French cultural centre on Thursday evening.

Russian consul general Oleg N Avdeev talked about the numbers of sacrifices the Russians made during the war, claiming that the Russian nation gained a strong will to survive from it. He said all the major battles took place on Russian territories, which was why Russians had a direct connection to the war. He feared neo-fascism was on the rise and there were elements that wanted to rewrite history. Therefore the film festival was the ‘right occasion’ to reflect on the horrors of such a conflict.

German consul general Dr Tilo Klinner termed the festival timely and important because it underlined the “biggest catastrophe” in history. It started as a great European civil war involving European nations, and later on engaged the whole world, he said. Referring to the Russian consul general’s speech, he remarked that Russia suffered in the second part of the war, that is, in 1941, as Hitler attacked Russia.

The speeches were followed by a short lecture on the subject by Habib University’s Markus Heidingsfelder.

Read complete article at Dawn.com



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