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6 grudnia 2011
Among the invitees were representatives of the diplomatic corps, academics, honorary consuls of Poland, as well as students of the Lycee Hofstad and of the Polish School.
Prof. Davies described in an historic perspective the shape of Europe, together with rise, transformation and fall of states throughtout centuries. In this context, professor mentioned his lat book “Vanished Kingdoms”, where an in-depth analysis of this phenomenon which is accurate also when talking about regional of global powers, which for ages were cultural heavyweights, yet they fell and by many are now forgotten. Thesis of inevitable decline of every political body, including ones called states has been illustrated with a number of concrete examples from the history of Europe – beginning with Aragon and ending up with the Soviet Union. The speaker also mentioned semi-state territories such as the Free City of Gdańsk.
During the Q&A session, prof. Davies was asked to provide his insight on the current situation in the European Union and the risk of break-up of the euro zone. The historian underlined, that is not up to his profession to foresee the future but to study facts. Also the discussion on the political situation in the Middle East raised emotions high. The professor expressed his concern on the fact that one of the countries in the region is in possession of the nuclear weapons. This only fuels the desire of other actors in the Middle East to be in a possession of such arsenal. Moreover, due to the fact, that most of the regimes which were cooperating with Israel were dismissed or face serious domestic problems, the future of Israel does not look bright. This statement was based on a historic perspective, where countries unable to build constructive relations with their partners were in most cases erased from the world map.
The lecture of prof. Davies met with very positive response and was a substantial food for thought for the discussion (which was led also afterwards during the glass of wine).
Prof. Davies gave two interviews during his stay in the Netherlands: to the NRC Handelsblad and to website Polonia.nl.
The interview for Polonia.nl can be found here: http://www.polonia.nl/?p=6815