100 years after the First World War, war, flight and expulsion are prevailing again in Syria and on the eastern Turkish border: The militias of the Islamic State are fighting Kurdish, Arab, Yezidi, Armenian and Assyrian populations. Which role does Turkey play and which Europe? How can one connect the German responsibility back then to its current cooperation? What and how can we learn from history without repeating it as a farce? Ezra Küçük discusses refugees and displacement in the area today with historian Elke Hartmann, journalist and taz correspondent in Istanbul Jürgen Gottschlich, and the director of the Gorki's production of Musa Dagh, Hans-Werner Kroesinger.
Elke Hartmann studied History and Islamic Studies at the Free University of Berlin and completed his doctorate with a thesis on conscription and modern statehood in the late period of the
Ottoman Empire. In 2010 she began directing the project "Houshamadyan" (www.houshamadyan.org) on the exploration of daily life and culture of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire before the genocide. She has been a researcher at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich since 2015.
Jürgen Gottschlich, born in Herne, studied journalism and philosophy in Berlin. In 1979 he co-founded the newspaper taz and became a member of the main editorial office in the 90s. He then became deputy editor of the weekly newspaper Wochenpost. Since 1998 he has worked as a correspondent for the taz and other German newspapers in Turkey and published several books about Turkey, most recently: Beihilfe zum Völkermord – Deutschlands Rolle bei der Vernichtung der Armenier (Complicity in Genocide - Germany's Role in the Extermination of the Armenians), released by Christoph – Links Publishers in Berlin.
Hans-Werner Kroesinger, born 1962 in Bonn, has worked as an author and director at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Berliner Ensemble and Theater Augsburg. He is considered to be one of the leading proponents of documentary theatre. In his latest productions, he has tackled the German armaments industry in Exporting War and perspectives on WWI from Istanbul, Sarajevo and Belgrade in Schlachtfeld Erinnerung (Battlefield Memory). At the Gorki, Kroesinger developed the face-to-face performance Wo warst du die letzten 100 Jahre? (Where were you the last 100 years?) as part of the first Berliner Herbstsalon and Drei Orte im Sommer (Three Places in Summer) for the HistoryCampus 14/14. In 2015 he adapted Franz Werfel's novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh for the Gorki stage as part of the It Snows in April event.
Esra Küçük is a political scientist and has been a member of the board of the Maxim Gorki Theatre since 2016. There she directs the new programme Gorki Forum. She initiated the Germany-wide educational programme “Junge Islam Konferenz” (Youth Islam Conference) and was the managing director for many years.