Monuments are objects that have been placed in visible places in public space to pay tribute to the deserved, to preserve the memory of particularly important events, or to restore the memory of the forgotten. Sometimes, however, they become an element of conscious manipulation and are meant to change the way people perceive the past.
Their long-term presence in the public space allows us to see how the importance of what a monument commemorates changes over the years. This makes monuments an important indicator of changes in collective memory. Looking at their history - from the circumstances of their creation to their later fate - they can be used to learn and understand the history of a country.
To bring closer the knowledge about the ways in which monuments can be used to learn about history and therefore to better understand the role of memory in shaping identity and values is the aim of the project Monuments of Remembrance 1918-2018.
This guidebook intends to bring closer the knowledge about what monuments are, how we should interpret them, and what we can use this knowledge for. It is primarily intended to be used in the process of education – both formal and informal – and therefore contains a few hints to allow teachers/educators to use the monuments in the process of historical and civic education.
It was developed during the Monuments of Remembrance 1918-2018 project and should be used in addition to the information provided at www.monuments-remembrance.eu, which contains descriptions of 300 monuments that have been created in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania over the last hundred years.