- Archaeology of memory: Europe's Holocaust dissonances in East and West
- EAC occasional paper
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
From the Second World War onwards European political integration is based on the assumption of a common cultural heritage and the memory of the Holocaust. Yet, does such a mutual heritage and collective memory really exist? Notwithstanding the common roots of European culture, Europe’s nations share most of all a history of war and conflict. Nonetheless, the devastating horrors of two World Wars have for the last six decades stimulated a unique process of unification. Millions of fallen soldiers, the mass slaughter of European civilians, and the destruction of the Jews have determined, by an act of negation, Europe’s postwar humanist identity. Politics of memory and forgetting play a crucial role in this process. Yet, I will argue that after the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) the assumption of the Holocaust as a common European experience, and hence as a basic part of Europe’s postwar identity, raises some critical objections. The Holocaust Paradigm will be challenged by a new ‘Double Genocide’ or Occupation Paradigm, resulting in a deep incompatibility of opinions between Western and Eastern Europe people about the impact, interpretation and meaning of the World Wars and the Cold War. This will ask for completely new interpretations, integrating (and confronting) very different twentieth century European experiences, and a fundamental rethinking of postwar politics of memory.
- Proceedings title: Heritage reinvents Europe
Publisher: Europae Archaeologiae Consilium/Archaeolingua
Place of publication: Namur/Budapest
Editors: D. Callebaut, J. Mařik, J. Maříková-Kubková
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