Across Borders


German-Polish neighbourship in
contemporary Europe

Panel discussion with Basil Kerski,
Bartosz T. Wieliński
and Dagmara Jajeśniak-Quast

Moderated by: Annette Riedel

Seventy-five years after the end of the Second World War, Poland and Germany are neighbouring countries in the heart of a changing Europe.  Amongst many other things, they share a long border. Whilst this border tended to divide the people of the supposed ‘brother states’ of the GDR and Poland, its physical presence has been hardly noticeable ever since Poland joined the EU and the Schengen area.

Now, however, borders are being defended again. The situation has escalated particularly since the Law and Justice party has governed Poland, and right-wing conservatives are increasingly coming to the fore in Germany. As this political shift can be observed throughout Europe, the historical, political and social contexts must also be examined. Are we still good neighbours? What is holding Europe together? How do the striving for autonomy and populism affect our relations?

The German-Polish cultural manager and journalist Basil Kerski is head of the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, which documents the history of the anti-communist revolution in Central and Eastern Europe before 1989 and promotes democratic culture in Europe.

Bartosz T. Wieliński is the editor-in-chief of the foreign desk at Poland’s biggest independent daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza; before that, he was the paper’s correspondent in Germany.

As the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Dagmara Jajeśniak-Quast conducts her research into the relations between the neighbouring countries Poland and Germany literally right on her doorstep.

The discussion will be hosted by the editor, moderator and former EU correspondent for radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur Annette Riedel.

Across Borders


  • Saturday, 25.04.2020
  • 17:00
  • Great Hall

€ 13 / concessions € 9

Advance bookings

can be made on
+49 (0)33476 600-750

  • 3_Märkische Oderzeitung
  • 999_Deutschlandfunk Kultur