Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe

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John-Paul Himka, Joanna Beata Michlic
U of Nebraska Press, Jul 1, 2013 - History - 736 pages
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Despite the Holocaust?s profound impact on the history of Eastern Europe, the communist regimes successfully repressed public discourse about and memory of this tragedy. Since the collapse of communism in 1989, however, this has changed. Not only has a wealth of archival sources become available, but there have also been oral history projects and interviews recording the testimonies of eyewitnesses who experienced the Holocaust as children and young adults. Recent political, social, and cultural developments have facilitated a more nuanced and complex understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust. People are beginning to realize the significant role that memory of Holocaust plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe.

This volume of original essays explores the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish past in postcommunist Eastern Europe. Devoting space to every postcommunist country, the essays in Bringing the Dark Past to Light explore how the memory of the ?dark pasts? of Eastern European nations is being recollected and reworked. In addition, it examines how this memory shapes the collective identities and the social identity of ethnic and national minorities. Memory of the Holocaust has practical implications regarding the current development of national cultures and international relationships.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Albanian Elites and the Memory of the Holocaust in Postsocialist Albania
25
The Holocaust in Belarus
59
3 Contemporary Responses to the Holocaust in Bosnia and Herzegovina
83
4 Debating the Fate of Bulgarian Jews during World War II
108
5 Representations of the Holocaust and Historical Debates in Croatia since 1989
131
The Holocaust and the Construction of Czech National History
166
Perceptions of the Holocaust in Estonia
195
Justification Instrumentalization and Mourning
377
RenewalIts Accomplishments and Its Powerlessness
403
15 Public Perceptions of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Romania
451
Silence Conspiracy and Glimpses of Light
487
Holocaust Memory in Serbia since the Late 1980s
516
18 The Unmasterable Past? The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Slovakia
549
Jews Slovenes and the Memory of the Holocaust
591
20 The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Ukraine
626

8 Holocaust Remembrance in the German Democratic Republicand Beyond
223
9 The Memory of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Hungary
261
10 The Transformation of Holocaust Memory in PostSoviet Latvia
300
The Reception of the Holocaust in Lithuania
319
12 The Combined Legacies of the Jewish Question and the Macedonian Question
352
Conclusion
663
Contributors
695
Index
705
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

John-Paul Himka is a professor of history and classics at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Last Judgment Iconography in the Carpathians. Joanna Beata Michlic is the director and founder of the Hadassah?Brandeis Institute Project on Families, Children, and the Holocaust at Brandeis University and is the author of Poland?s Threatening Other (Nebraska, 2006).

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