Reconciliation in Practice

Dan Bar-On meets Peace Activists from the Balkans

Dan Bar-On at Berghof Center, Berlin 2008

During his last visit to the Berghof Center in Berlin, the world-famous psychologist and co-director of the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME), Professor Dan Bar-On held a workshop focusing on the practicalities of reconciliation. It was titled “Dealing with the past in Israel-Palestine and in the Western Balkans. Story-telling in conflict: developing practice and research”. He explored methods of story-telling with peace activists from the region of former Yugoslavia, and helped them find new perspectives on their own situation by drawing upon comparisons to the conflict in Israel-Palestine.

Dan Bar-On’s research into the openings and obstacles for dealing with the past in settings marked by a history of violence and injustice was based on his innovative therapeutic method of “Trust-and-Reflect”. Most widely known in this regard is his research into the life stories of children of Nazi perpetrators and victims of the Nazi regime. His late projects were devoted to exploring the psychosocial realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to encourage youth in particular to engage with one another constructively. Together with Professor Sami Adwan, he had been working on a history textbook for schools, in which historical narratives from Palestinian and Israeli perspectives would be presented side by side and thus given the equal right to be told.

Dan Bar-On passed away following a long illness on 4 September 2008, in Tel Aviv.

Timeframe

2007 – 2008

Berghof Publications

  • Véronique Dudouet, Martina Fischer & Beatrix Schmelzle: Dealing with the Past in Israel-Palestine and in the Western Balkans. Story-Telling in Conflict: Developing Practice and Research. Dan Bar-On meets peace Activists from the Western Balkans. Workshop, 14-15 February 2008, Berghof Research Center, Berlin. 2008. Working Paper No. 5. PDF >
  • Peace Research Institute in the Middle East & Berghof Conflict Research (Eds.): Das Historische Narrativ des Anderen kennen lernen, Palästinenser und Israelis. 2009. PDF >

Publications by our Partners

  • Sami Adwan, Dan Bar-On, Eyal Naveh & Peace Research Institute in the Middle East. Side by Side. Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine. 2012, updated and revised version, New York: The New Press. Link >