The project Peace.Europe and its implementation in Muenster and Osnabrück is about dealing with the cultural heritage in the two cities of peace. The aim is to make young people in particular aware of the Peace of Westphalia and its importance for Europe. This is a great challenge at an event that took place so many years ago and for which there are no family tales.
Professor Jakobi has been working for many decades to preserve the cultural heritage of the city of Muenster. As former director of the city archive, he is still actively involved in communicating the topic of “Peace of Westphalia” – for example through the digital documentary that is currently created in the Friedenssaal.
His experience is that among young audiences the topic can best be communicated through a reference to current everyday practice: “The importance of negotiations and the importance of willingness to compromise becomes clear to everyone when they reflect on their own personal disputes. This increases our understanding of the importance of this special peace agreement, which was based on negotiation,” says the 78-year-old.
One must first understand what is at the heart of things that should be remembered. For the city of Muenster, this has been systematically elaborated in various committees. It is about prevention and war avoidance, about conflict resolution through dialogue, about the importance of negotiation. Professor Jakobi himself is particularly fascinated by the role of a mediator. They have the task of moderating the dialogue between opposing parties and thus opening the way to understanding. This was also the function of the mediators in the negotiations on the Peace of Westphalia and an important contribution to their success.
In addition to these general references, Professor Jakobi believes that the historical events are interesting even for younger people: “It was a very exciting overall event with dazzling figures – such as Fabio Chigi. History is appreciated when you tell it well,” says the former university scholar. I can only agree with that: Told correctly, history turns into a multitude of good stories that can also fascinate young people.