International criminal tribunals and truth commissions have gained significant political and academic traction the world over. Civil society organizations throughout the former Yugoslavia have been pushing for the establishment of a Regional Truth Commission (RECOM) widening the legal scope of the International Criminal Tribunal. In its practices of cooperation and representation, the RECOM initiative pays reference to other truth commissions overseas, but the motivation and stance of its key actors are modelled on the success stories of German-French reconciliation and Germany’s particular pattern of Vergangenheitsbewältigung. The presentation will explore the interplay of a justice-focussed approach — dealing with the past — and the German paradigm — coming to terms with the past — in post-Yugoslavia.
Jacqueline Nießer is a doctoral candidate in Southeast and East European History at the University of Regensburg. Her academic interest is in discourses on memory culture, with specific reference to the interplay between external patterns and locally entrenched paradigms of dealing with the past. Jacqueline Nießer studied at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, and in Wrocław, Poland. After graduating, she worked for several years as program coordinator for an NGO aiming at fostering dialogue between Western and Southeast Europe. She also directed the Institute for Applied History in Frankfurt (Oder), which organizes cultural projects and conducts research on European remembrance, and has published articles about “applied history,” the Institute’s specific approach to civic activism along the German-Polish border.