Why Krzyżowa?

Krzyżowa, as the site of implementation for MICC, reflects the plans developed here by the resistance group “Kreisau Circle” for the democratic rebuilding of post-World War II Germany. The Kreisau Circle had gathered here around the owner of the Kreisau Estate, Helmuth James von Moltke, in 1942-1943.

Two aspects of their vision are relevant for MICC. First, they asked themselves how Europe could find lasting peace and how Germany, once freed of Hitler, could find a place in that peace. Their solution was a European confederation of states that would share common values and roots and cooperate on economic as well as political levels.

Second, they sought a method to punish the crimes of the National Socialists. Even then, they had in mind an international criminal court in which both the victors and the defeated could satisfy their collective responsibility for humanity and justice.

Helmuth James von Moltke, as an international law practitioner in the high command of the German military, was convinced that the existing laws of war were meant to prevent the expansion of military measures and, in so doing, to better the lot of civilians. His endeavours touched on economic law and naval military law as well as the treatment of forced labourers and Jewish war prisoners held in the east. Through his personal engagement as an international law practitioner and the founder of the Kreisau Circle, Moltke worked unceasingly for peace and the protection of human rights, a legacy that MICC hopes to share with young people today.

Organisers

Kreisau-Initiative e.V. (Germany)

The Kreisau-Initiative (KI) was created in 1989 by an international action group, in order to support the set-up and maintenance of an international youth meeting centre in Krzyżowa. In 1942/43 a German resistance group Kreisau Circle worked here on peace plans for the future of Europe after the WWII. The KI aims at initiating activities based on the heritage of the Kreisau Circle, that facilitate peaceful co-existence of nations and social groups in Europe. The KI has been organising international exchanges, trainings and conferences for various target groups for over 25 years. The aim of every meeting is to foster sustainable participation of young people and provide them with the competence needed to become active citizens. Moral courage, social and political engagement, understanding between nations and commitment to democracy and human rights are the main focus of KI’s work.

Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe (Poland)

The Krzyżowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding (FK) is a politically independent, non-profit organisation. The aim of Krzyżowa is supporting peaceful and tolerant existence of nations, social groups and individuals in Europe. The Foundation builds bridges between the past and the present, between Western and Eastern Europe, and promotes dialogue between generations. Working for young people and with young people in the International Youth Meeting Centre (IYMC) in Krzyżowa is the most important project implemented by the Krzyżowa Foundation. Educational activities have been carried out since early 1990s, in accordance with our educational goals and beliefs. The Polish-German team of educators carries out about hundred projects for between ten and twenty thousand of young people from Poland, Germany and other European countries each year.