Vienna, 29 June 2014 Press release

Kurz: "History should instil us with courage for the future"

Events organised by the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs to celebrate the "commemorative year 2014"

Vienna, 29 June 2014 – "I would like to take the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg in Sarajevo as an opportunity to draw attention to the commemorative year 2014 and to what we can learn from it," Sebastian Kurz said. This year we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, and 10 years of EU membership of the Central and Eastern European countries, Malta and Cyprus. On Sunday, June 29th, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra gave a concert in Sarajevo to remember the events of one hundred years ago. The concert was supported by the Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo and was broadcast live throughout Europe. The people of Sarajevo were able to watch it on huge video walls in their city.

"All the events organised to remember the important events of Austrian and European history are a priority for us this year – both at home and at the Austrian Embassies and Cultural Fora abroad. In this context, I would like to thank all the historians who have supported us in preparing the programme of events for this year", Sebastian Kurz said. More than 120 projects have been organised for the various commemorative events held at the Embassies and Cultural Fora this year. One of these projects is a white paper commissioned for international discourse by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and other Austrian ministries on current issues and research findings such as war and media, war guilt, experiences at the war front, humanitarian consequences and women's history.

"All of us, and above all the young generation, draw courage from the fact that it was possible to overcome the division of Europe after all that had happened. It is our responsibility to remember our history, and it is our task to commit ourselves in this spirit to a common Europe in peace and to positive coexistence", Sebastian Kurz concluded.

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