Letter from the Chairperson

by Veronika Grueneisen, Nov 2010 back to Newsletter 1-2011

PCCA e.V. was founded in the summer of 2007 in order to address issues of collective atrocities, specifically the aftermath of the Holocaust in 2nd and 3rd generation Germans and Israelis/Jews. The focus was clearly on creating a frame for conferences in the Nazareth series. Since then, we have continued to develop our understanding of our task and aim:

We consider ourselves as an organisation working with hidden dimensions of (national and international) societal conflict, a resource (of expertise) for addressing questions around collective atrocities.

This resource is used in various ways:

  • organising conferences with a given setting and methodology
  • continuing to develop our own learning about this work
  • writing articles
  • publishing books
  • giving presentations about experiential and theoretical aspects of our work
  • developing a training programme which will enable others to gain expertise in this work
  • supporting others to develop this kind of work, elsewhere

Other options may follow.

In the time of its existence, PCCA has organised two conferences on Cyprus, the sixth and

the seventh in the “Nazareth” series. The latest one took place from 1st – 6th July, 2010. The title was the same as 2008: “Repeating, Reflecting, Moving on – Germans, Jews, Israelis, Palestinians, Others Today”. Intensive work was done by members and staff, encouraging us to continue and continue to learn. See the Directors’ Report.

We sent out a questionnaire, a few weeks after the conference, encouraging members to write about their conference experience. 28 out of 57 answered (50 %), feeding back some of their experiences and reflections about them, giving us valuable feedback around issues that need to be thought through, in the future. In spite of the difficult political situation accompanying the conference, new learning was possible on all sides.

We are planning a second book which will focus on the recent development of including Palestinians, in the conference, the impact of the Holocaust and the Nakba, in the minds of all involved, our way of working and the learning that has taken place. We hope this to come out later next year.

As we have continued to develop this work, the notion increases that there have been many places in the world subject to atrocities –Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Russia, China, Japan, and others. The working through of such painful and traumatic experiences and trans-generational transmission are an issue which needs to be addressed similarly to what happened in the Holocaust and the Nakba. We have been approached to give support to people in several of these areas who are interested in addressing their respective social conflict. In this context, we consider PCCA as a resource to help others use our model and methodology. We are in the process of conceptualising a training programme for those who want to use our experience and expertise.

 

Veronika Grueneisen

November 2010