- Jasenovac – A Past that Does Not Pass
- The Presence of Jasenovac in Croatian and Serbian Collective Memory of Conflict
- East European Politics and Societies
- Volume | Issue number
- 30 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
In this article the authors discuss the role of Jasenovac Concentration Camp in Croatian and Serbian political and social spheres. Connecting the historical data with the analysis of the recent mutual accusations of genocide between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the authors demonstrate the pervasive presence of Jasenovac in Serbian and Croatian political discourse. Presenting different modes of social construction around Jasenovac, from the end of the Second World War to the present, the article proposes a specific reading of Jasenovac as a form of the “past that does not pass.” In this respect, Jasenovac is seen as a continuous reference point for understanding collective losses and group suffering, both past and present, in Serbian and Croatian society. Although historically distanced by seventy years, the events surrounding Jasenovac are still constantly recurring in both political and private, official and unofficial, spheres of life, functioning as a specific symbol around which narratives of ethnic, national, and religious understanding as well as inter-group conflicts are thought and constructed. The role of political and social factors in the construction of frequently incompatible narratives is further underlined by the analysis of selected oral testimonies related to the war in Yugoslavia in 1990s.
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