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Remembering Communism During and After Communism (review article)


In the past decade there has been a real explosion of studies on collective memory in eastern Europe. Two large themes have attracted the attention of scholars: the ongoing re-evaluations of the past after the end of communism and the memory of state socialism. These two topics were evidently related to each other in two ways: first, the communist period became an object of collective memory and many events linked to communist rule were re-evaluated once taboos and politically imposed interpretations fell by the wayside. Second, many political and public figures identified communist rule in eastern Europe as the reason why the nation's ‘genuine’ memory had been distorted. Now, they claimed, history could and had to be rewritten in order to bring previously suppressed memories to the foreground.

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Peter Niedermüller , ‘Zeit, Geschichte, Vergangenheit: Zur kulturellen Logik des Nationalismus im Postsozialismus’, Historische Anthropologie, 5, 2 (1997), 245–67

Siobhan Kattago , ‘War Memorials and the Politics of Memory: the Soviet War Memorial in Tallinn’, Constellations, 16, 1 (2009), 150–66

Jochen Hellbeck , Revolution on my Mind: Writing a Diary Under Stalin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006)

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Contemporary European History
  • ISSN: 0960-7773
  • EISSN: 1469-2171
  • URL: /core/journals/contemporary-european-history
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