(Ab)use of History for Political and Ideological Purposes

Kursnummer: 110921on

European Contexts
Focus on Spain, Russian Federation, Poland, and Croatia

When: Wednesday 30 June 2021, 9:00-10:30 CEST; 10:00-11:30 Moscow Time Zone
Where: Concordia Cloud

Registration is mandatory. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link one day before the event. Registration deadline: 29 June 2021 (1pm).

Register now.




Alejandro Quiroga, Spanish historian, Research Fellow at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) and a Reader in Spanish History at Newcastle University (UK). Author of numerous books and articles on national identities and nationalisms.

Sergei Medvedev, Russian historian, professor at Free University in Moscow.
His most recent book on Putin’s Russia, The Return of the Russian Leviathan (Cambridge, Polity Press, 2019) has won the Pushkin House Book Prize as best English-language non-fiction book on Russia in 2020.

Piotr Buras, Polish journalist, head of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. His topics of focus include Germany’s EU and foreign policy, Poland in the EU, and EU politics.

Hrvoje Klasić Croatian historian, assistant professor, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. Author of numerous books, essays, and blogs on modern Croatian history. His critical approach earned him enemies and generated death threats. In 2019, Klasic won an award for the promotion of peacebuilding, nonviolence, and human rights.

Concept and Moderators

Ivan Vejvoda, Europe’s Futures; Mirjana Tomić, Presseclub Concordia, fjum.


History has become a fluid concept: facts are silenced or manipulated, revision and manipulation of the past are used, abused, or distorted to fit ideological narratives and fight political opponents. Previously established truths (and values) are questioned: for example, praising fascist leaders and/or dictators is no longer a taboo. Manipulation of history, just like fake news, generates uncertainties and challenges democratic values. New history curricula in schools have long term consequences.

The seminar address 4 countries: Spain, Russian Federation, Poland, and Croatia. Understanding political struggles in contemporary Spain is inseparable from understanding the Spanish Civil War and its consequences (1936-1939); Russia’s establishment is reinterpreting World War II as an instrument of struggle against the political opposition; Poland’s conservative leaders are rewriting the recent history in order to construct a new national identity (and win elections); while Croatian politicians are struggling to confront the country’s World War II fascist regime and the country’s role during the more Yugoslav Wars (1991-1995). Critical approach to the latter war is still a taboo.

What are the political consequences of these manipulations and reinterpretations on the already polarized societies?

Target Groups

Vienna-based journalists, as well as journalists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. International journalists are welcome.

Number of participants: Maximum 70


Brief presentations, followed by an interactive live discussion and Q&A

Further Questions

For additional information about the session, contact Mirjana Tomic, seminar manager, mirjana.tomic@fjum-wien.at, or call 0676 365 26 93.

European Contexts

Upon request of Austrian and Central European media representatives to create an informal regional platform/network of journalists, four organisations decided to support this initiative, aimed at strengthening quality journalism and fostering professional networks among media, think tank analysts and academics. The initiative consists of seminars that address themes of common interest and enable participants to meet and discuss.

30.06.202109:00 - 10:30
kostenlos. Anmeldung erforderlich!
Sergei Medvedev, Hrvoje Klasić, Alejandro Quiroga, Piotr Buras
Online (Zoom)