September 1939, Grudziewicze, Grodno district, Bialystok voivodship, Poland.
A gate built to welcome the incoming Soviet Army. Slogan on the banner:
"We welcome the invincible and brotherly union of nations of the Soviet Union and Western Belarus"
Photo: unknown, KARTA Centre collection.
“History at Hand” was initially a name for the competition addressed to high school youth organized by the "Karta" Centre (every year since 1996). Now it also combines other activities and educational initiatives (also international) carried out by the "Karta" Centre and its Partners.
“History at Hand” was initially a program carried out by KARTA Centre (until 11th edition together with Batory Foundation) based primarily on organizing annual historical competitions addressed to schoolchildren and high school pupils. Basing on a general topic of a competition participants carry out their own project which represents a significance for their local community, village, town, family, circle of friends. Participants’ task is to carry out a research on their own, complete sources (including witnesses’ of history relations) analyze and verify them, and finally present the results of their work in a freely chosen form. In the thirteen editions of the competition (1996-2008) 11 724 participants took part providing 6 755 of papers and projects. The archive of competition works and the description of the competition topics is available here.
Since 1999 “History at Hand” competition has become a part of EUSTORY (www.eustory.org) - an international network of historical competitions for youth organized by Körber Foundation and connected by the idea of teaching by experience and by promoting of independent historical research carried out by young people.
On the 31th of Mai the award ceremony of
the 14th edition of “History at Hand” competition
took place in Warsaw. The schoolchidren and high school pupils
worked in the Academic Year 2009/2010 on the following topic:
Stigma of World War II - fates and memory.
World War II, the most important historical experience of Poland in the XX century, is not just a chapter in history manuals. Its marks are still present in nearly every Polish family. It is present in people’s biographies, also of those who still live next to us, in space of our villages and towns, in our own lives although we are not always aware how strongly those distant events shape our today’s life.
It is therefore our task and obligation to reconstruct and record those events as well as to confront their pictures existing in our memory.
The past still fires people’s emotions. A dispute on history becomes a dispute on national identity, country’s role and position or in contrary - a dispute on country’s misdeed against culture and humanity.
What stigma World War II made on your closest circle: your family, friends, relatives, neighbors, your town or village. What were their fates and what memory on those events they posses. And what important has been left of those past events for future generations.
Please go to competition’s website to get more information about the competition [in Polish] and e.g. to download pictures of the award ceremony.