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Home Blois Appeal (2008)
Blois Appeal
Sunday, 12 October 2008

In order to approve the "Appel de Blois", send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , give your first and last names and write "read and approved". Everyone is entitled to give its signature. Academics should add their university and others their residency.

Since 2005 Liberté pour l’Histoire has fought against the initiatives of legislative authorities to criminalize the past, thus putting more and more obstacles in the way of historical research. In April 2007, a framework decision of the European Council of Ministers has given an international dimension to a problem that had until then been exclusively French. In the name of the indisputable and necessary suppression of racism and anti-Semitism, this decision established throughout the European Union new crimes that threaten to place on historians prohibitions that are incompatible with their profession.

In the context of the Historical Encounters of Blois in 2008 dedicated to “The Europeans”, Liberté pour l’Histoire invites the approval of the following resolution:

Concerned about the retrospective moralization of history and intellectual censure, we call for the mobilization of European historians and for the wisdom of politicians.
History must not be a slave to contemporary politics nor can it be written on the command of competing memories. In a free state, no political authority has the right to define historical truth and to restrain the freedom of the historian with the threat of penal sanctions.
We call on historians to marshal their forces within each of their countries and to create structures similar to our own, and, for the time being, to individually sign the present appeal, to put a stop to this movement toward laws aimed at controlling history memory.
We ask government authorities to recognize that, while they are responsible for the maintenance of the collective memory, they must not establish, by law and for the past, an official truth whose legal application can carry serious consequences for the profession of history and for intellectual liberty in general.
In a democracy, liberty for history is liberty for all.   
Pierre NORA, Président, Liberté pour l'histoire

First signatories : Aleida and Jan Assmann (Constance, Heidelberg), Élie Barnavi (Tel Aviv), Luigi Cajani (Roma), Hélène Carrère d’Encausse (Paris), Étienne François (Berlin), Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford), Carlo Ginzburg (Bologna), José Gotovitch (Brussels), Eric Hobsbawm (London), Jacques Le Goff (Paris), Karol Modzelewski (Warsaw) Jean Puissant (Brussels), Sergio Romano (Milan), Rafael Valls Montés, (Valencia), Henri Wesseling (The Hague), Heinrich August Winkler (Berlin), Guy Zelis (Leuven).