memory collecting


The twentieth century left deep and unhealed wounds in the memory of almost all the nations of eastern and central Europe, with its revolutions, uprisings, two World Wars, the Nazi occupation, the inconceivable horror of the Holocaust. Then there was the huge number of local wars and conflicts, most of which had a pronounced national flavour: tin he Baltic States, Poland, western Ukraine and the Balkans. We witnessed a string of dictatorships of different ilk, each unceremoniously depriving people of their civic and political liberty, foisting upon them instead a standard system of values binding on all. National independence was in succession gained and lost, and gained again, with this for the most part being seen within the framework of ethnic self-identification. And each time, this or that community felt insulted and humiliated. This is our shared history. Yet each national group remembers and perceives it’s own history in its own way. National memory refashions and interprets this shared history in its own way. For this reason, each national group has its own twentieth century.

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