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CISH Board to Her Magnificence the President of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań 

The Board of CISH has been informed about your decision—“in accordance with the decision of the Polish Ministry of Education and Science and following the appeal to Polish academics and intellectual elites in connection with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”—to cease official collaboration with research and higher education institutions of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, you have emphasized that your objection “concerns the actions of the politicians and governments, it is not targeted at people of Russian and Belarusian nationality.”

The Board of CISH expresses full agreement with you that the invasion of Ukraine is a brutal violation of human rights. The Board of CISH has carefully analyzed the current situation and declares that it stands with you in this decision.

As a consequence, official participation of the National Committee of Historians of the Russian Federation and the Russian universities in the 2022 Congress will not be possible. Historians based at universities and institutes of higher education and research in the Russian Federation may therefore participate in our Congress only as unaffiliated scholars.

Furthermore, the Board of CISH would like to inform you of its intention to promote the participation of as many Ukrainian historians as possible in the Congress, with the dedication of 10,000 Swiss Francs from its Solidarity Fund to that end. The Board recommends further that the local organizers arrange a round table to investigate topics from Ukrainian and Russian history in order to facilitate a historical discussion of the current situation for the general public.

The Board of CISH would like to thank in particular the Rector of AMU, the Polish Academy of the Sciences, and the local organizers for the efficient and constructive collaboration with the Board of CISH in these very difficult times.

ICHS Statement

As the world’s largest organization of historians, the Comité International des Sciences Historiques (CISH) – International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS) includes national and topical history organizations from all continents and covering all time periods. 

Our purpose is to defend freedom of thought and expression in the field of historical research and teaching and oppose the misuse of history for whatever purpose. 

As such, we strongly condemn the abuse of history employed by President Putin in rationalizing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. History is not owned by states or rulers, and we deplore the use of history to foster enemy images and distorted myths. 

Freedom of thought and expression requires dialogue and means that our identities and communities are subject to revision and change.  

We stand by our member organizations from the Russian Federation and Ukraine in support of open and free dissemination of historical sources and open and free discussions about interpretations and narratives. 

The Board of CISH- ICHS