collective memory

  • A Case of Successful Transitional Justice: Fritz Bauer and his Late Recognition in the Federal Republic of Germany

    Germany is an example of a country which has been implementing transitional justice for decades and is still active in this field. What is more, contemporary Germans have recently come to terms with their not-so-distant past and their negligence in this area by showing the falsehood, backwardness, and injustice as negative foundations of the young Federal Republic. This article evokes the person of Fritz Bauer, the prosecutor in the state of Hessen. His struggle for human dignity and the memory of his achievements after his death exemplify an accomplished case of transitional justice and the memory of it. During his lifetime he contributed to bringing to trial numerous Nazi criminals, even at the cost of habitual threats and disregard. Forgotten for a few decades, Bauer and his legacy have been recently rediscovered and studied. Eventually, Bauer became a movie character and was finally brought back to the collective memory of Germans. The belated, but a well-deserved wave of popularity of Fritz Bauer in the German culture memory proves that reflections on the transitional justice are still topical and important.

  • Remembrance, Identity Politics and Political Transitions: a Comparative Study

    The paper presents findings of the comparative study on relationships between remembrance story-telling and the transitional reconstruction of political identities. It identifies in which areas and fields of impact governments tend to use interpretations of the past to promote new leadership visions of society. Moreover, it verifies theoretical hypotheses related to the politicised remembrance and its role as a political asset during transformations, as well as it considers the theoretical framework of democracy-building (and a common prediction of its universal character). As a result, the study offers a detailed picture of the way remembrance narratives are transformed into explanations, justifications or legitimisation of new, post-authoritarian identities based on qualitative-to-quantitative analysis of the intensity of story-telling and its links with transitional identity politics. In the conclusion, the Authors present their consideration of research findings, and they discuss it with reference to the nature of transitional government’s remembrance policy as a sphere of social influence. 

  • Post–Yugoslav Collective Memory: Between National and Transnational Myths

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the image of Yugoslavia in the collective memories of the post–Yugoslav societies. The author of this text, basing on an assumption that every society has a great number of collective memories, highlights the fact that among the Balkan nations one can find both supporters and opponents not only of the SFRY but also of the idea of the cooperation among the Southern Slavs. Both positive and negative opinions of Yugoslavia in the collective memories are based not on the sober assessment of the historical facts but on collective emotions and historical and political myths. The anti–Yugoslav discourse in primarily based on the national mythology. The discourse of the supporters of the Yugoslav tradition one the other hand, goes back in a large extend to the transnational myths. By discussing these two types of ideas about Yugoslavia, the author of this text tries to show their impact on the current political decisions.

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