Polish and Czech leaders will speak about European crisis; Jewish music commemorates Holocaust

ANN ARBOR, MICH., April 3, 2012 –The University of Michigan’s Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, along with the International Policy Center, will present a symposium on April 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM entitled, “The European Crisis: A View from Warsaw and Prague.” The invited guests of honor and participants are former President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Pithart.

As the recent crises in Hungary, Greece, and other European countries demonstrate, democracy in Europe may be established—but it is not stable. The Czech Republic and Poland are widely recognized for their accomplishments in the transition to electoral democracy and to free market economies. With these successes come challenges: both citizens and scholars have raised concerns about corruption, the moral fabric of society, abuse of government power, and the need to build further political institutions. Given their active role in transforming their countries, and the wealth of their experience, our invited guests offer a unique perspective on the recent events in Europe in this context. The symposium is free and open to the public.

There will be two related events on Wednesday, April 18. The Center for European Studies and Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies will host a program at 12:00 PM titled, “Jewish Music in the Time of the Holocaust,” focusing on the lives and works of Jewish composers in Europe and the impact of World War II on their lives and music. This free public event—occurring during the National Days of Remembrance in commemoration of the Holocaust—precedes the Wednesday evening University Musical Society concert by the Pavel Haas Quartet. The Prague-based ensemble, named after the Czech composer who perished in Auschwitz, will perform works by Haas and others. To purchase concert tickets, call 734.764.2538 or visit www.ums.org.

DATE: April 17-18, 2012

PLACE: 4/17 – Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor

4/18 – 1636 International Institute, 1080 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies; International Policy Center; Center for European Studies; Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

WEB LINK: www.ii.umich.edu/wcee/events

The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies (CES); the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu/wcee.