The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) in cooperation with the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory opened After the Great War. A New Europe 1918–1923 in Tallinn’s Freedom Square. The exhibition welcomes visitors from 17 October to 4 November 2021.

The interactive exhibition is an attempt to examine the turbulent beginning of the interwar period, with a special focus on Central and Eastern European history. The exhibition analyses the extraordinary cultural, economic and other changes in Europe in 1918–1923.

“We want to show that we can feel the consequences of an event that took place more than 100 years ago even today. We can present different feelings of nations and all manner of memories that have preserved from this conflict in collective memory by comparing various interpretations of processes that occurred in this region after the First World War,” said professor Jan Rydel, the Polish coordinator in the ENRS.

The exhibition is in Estonian and English, and consists of more than 200 interactive archival materials – photos, documents, films, maps and personal memories. The way in which the events of 1918–1923 were imprinted in European peoples’ memory varies greatly. Hence, the authors of the exhibition decided to present the history of the Great War and its consequences from a regional point of view. This way, the exhibition expands the international approach to history and respects various experiences and sentiments.

“The years that were filled with suffering for many peoples, undoubtedly bore a positive mark for Estonia. These where the years when an independent Estonian Republic was founded, by virtue of the brilliant handling of the international situation,” said Meelis Maripuu, Member of Board of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.

The exhibition After the Great War. A New Europe 1918–1923 has been internationally presented for three years. The exhibition has visited nine cities thus far. The exhibition is funded by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of Poland in the framework of the NIEPODLEGŁA programme of 2017–2022.

About the exhibition

The First World War (1914–1918) completely changed the face of Europe. Many new countries sprouted from the ruins of four empires. Nearly all borders were redrawn. In several cases, the new borders were established as a result of armed conflicts, which took place during five post-war years. In many regions, it was not until 1923 that these processes came to an end. Some countries considered the result of the war a terrible tragedy, while for others it was the culmination of their long pursuit for independence. However, all countries were united in their efforts of reconstruction and modernisation, necessitated by the devastating war. These struggles were overshadowed not only by political but also by social, economic and cultural changes.

The curators of the exhibition are dr Bartosz Dziewanowski-Stefańczyk (ENRS) and dr Robert Żurek.

The exhibition was translated into Estonian by Marje Einre and Toomas Hiio. The editors of the Estonian version are Katrin Raid and Toomas Hiio.

Further information about the project, the exhibition, and the experts involved in the preparation of the international tour can be found on the webpage