Conrad Festival 2022


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What is the Community Afraid of? Meeting with Verena Kessler

What is the Community Afraid of? Meeting with Verena Kessler

Host: Małgorzata Gralińska

It is natural to fear for one’s own fate and the fate of one’s loved ones, especially in the face of real danger. But how to comprehend the choice of almost a thousand people living in the German town of Demmin, who decided to commit suicide in the spring of 1945 to avoid reprisals from the Red Army? Were they driven to this act by fear of the approaching troops? But perhaps there had long been forces within the community that favoured such a decision? We will ask Verena Kessler about the sources of community action, about the influence of smaller and larger social groups on the lives of individuals, about the need to understand the past, about the role of the witness of past events in contemporary literature and about the possibility of understanding between different generations.


Conrad Award Gala

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