France and Germany in the Great War: from a war of the past to a project for the future
The First World War saw two countries, France and Germany fight each other for four and half years. This experience needs to be explained and commemorated so that the countries can plan a better future together.
For more than four years, France and Germany fought a fierce war on the battlefields of the First World War. The two peoples shared a bitter hate of each other, which was stoked by a mad desire to fight the other until victory was achieved. Today, they are reconciled and united in the construction of Europe.
Having shared an antagonism of each other, both French and Germans have a similar experience of war. They both sacrificed their youth. Their soldiers fought in extremely harsh conditions. A unprecedented amount of blood was spilled among French and Germans alike.
This common experience needs to be jointly remembered.
The Franco-German interface of the Centenary will show how the war is commemorated on varying scales.
It will provide the link between the current issues concerning Franco-German relations with those of the Centenary.
It will provide details on the projects and initiatives which are being taken forward and followed by the Centenary Partnership Program as part of a joint Franco-German work program in conjunction with educational (European classes and Abibac, OFAJ), diplomatic (embassies) and scientific (historical institutes) organisations.
It will offer various analyses comparing the French and German experiences of the First World War.
It will present a cultural Franco-German agenda for the Centenary.
For France and Germany, commemorating the First World War is about more than just reconciliation. It aims to build a future based notably on the younger generations by explaining and remembering the past.