Edition: Lublin 2010
Abstract: Since the beginning of historiography with greater ambitions, the relations between alive memory and the historian’s view of history have posed a grave problem. However, in our global societies and burning massive memory conflicts the issue has grown in importance, obviously not only in the civilisational context. Contemporary history (German Zeitgeschichte) has gained a secure position in scientific historiography in the last decades. Especially in Europe after the war of 1939-1945, favourable conditions were created by a fierce fight for memory, by huge historical forgeries and by an instrumental approach of political and ideological forces to memory and history. That is why significance is attached to the movements, people and schools undertaking great inter-generational effort for an objective view of history. In this essay an attempt is made to present a great role of French historians, R. Rémond and F. Bédarida, in the research of contemporary history. Their significance became visible during a European conference organized by them in 1993. As a result, a new field of scientific historiography with its huge comparative ambitions was made public and strengthened in numerous countries. It is worth mentioning that an American (Anglo-Saxon) research movement called “Oral History” developed independently of the changes on the European continent. A great alive academic discussion on the relations between historical memory and scientific historiography is connected with contemporary history, particularly in the European Union and the whole of Europe. In contemporary history in particular, there are still considerable differences in historical memory of nations and historical visions. That is why the development of serious academic research on a larger scale than previously is a highly important and necessary task. Unfortunately, one might assume that further history of the European Union and the whole continent depends to a great extent on the refinement and wide acceptance of elements of common memory, common vision of the past and thus the future by all the citizens of the Union and Europe.