The Thomas Mann Festival invites to an academic afternoon in Klaipėda

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The Thomas Mann Festival, following a rich week in July replete with a variety of events, now invites to an academic discussions to be held in Klaipeda on Monday, 14 September, 2015. The event dedicated to discussions over the impact of military conflicts on the Lithuanian society resonates with and continues the themes of the five-year festival cycle “The Legacy of Modernity. One Hundred Years after the Great War” which started last year by supplementing it with the issues relevant to Lithuania. 

The festival named in honour of the Nobel-prize winner, which invited thousands of visitors to Nida for the nineteenth time already, has outreached this year beyond the confines of the Curonian Spit peninsula for the first time, a traditional site enshrouding the festival with its aura. A musical evening was held in Vilnius, the Chodkevičiai Palace, in this March as part of the 2014 “Summer of Centenary” festival. The event scheduled for the 14th of September in Klaipėda will also have a format of an intimate ambiance, albeit of a different character. It will continue the oral programme of this year festival “The Breakthrough of Conscience” offering a look into as yet little-known influence on Lithuania by war, military conflicts and militarisation of society. 

Scholars of Vilnius and Klaipėda universities, including Tomas Balkelis, Violeta Davoliūtė, Vytautas Jokubauskas, Vasilijus Safronovas and Vygantas Vareikis, taking part in the debates, will help open the door towards discovery of these little known issues based on the latest scientific research. According to Dr Vasilijus Safronovas, one of the organisers of the event, the five historians will deal in their presentations with different facets of the impact of war on Lithuania. They will discuss the question of forced refugees whose lives were completely changed by the two world wars. The question whether Lithuania indeed had no memory of the First World War of its own, as it has been proposed before, will be raised. The discussion will also touch upon the impact of militarisation of society in the interbellum Lithuania on the subsequent developments, especially the guerrilla resistance movement originating from 1944. 

The day of the International Thomas Mann Festival in Klaipėda is a joint effort by the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre and the Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology of Klaipėda University. The venue for the seminar and the discussions, promoting the concerns of this year festival, is the architectural ensemble of the former German military quarters at Klaipėda, now the premises of the Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology of Klaipėda University, which perfectly resonates with the themes of the event (Herkaus Manto g. 84, Building VI, Klaipėda). The event opens at 15.00 p.m. 
For the programme of the academic afternoon visit the organisers’ websites and