An introduction to key issues in the study of war and memory that examines significant conflicts in twentieth-century Europe
In order to understand the history of twentieth-century Europe, we must first appreciate and accept how different societies and cultures remember their national conflicts. We must also be aware of the ways that those memories evolve over time. In War and Public Memory: Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Europe, Messenger outlines the relevant history of war and its impact on different European nations and assesses how and where the memory of these conflicts emerges in political and public discourse and in the public sphere and public spaces of Europe.
The case studies presented emphasize the major wars fought on European soil as well as the violence perpetrated against civilian populations. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the conflict and then proceeds with a study of how memory of that struggle has entered into public consciousness in different national societies. The focus throughout is on collective social, cultural, and public memory, and in particular how memory has emerged in public spaces throughout Europe, such as parks, museums, and memorial sites.
Messenger discusses memories of the First World War for both the victors and the vanquished as well as their successor states. Other events discussed include the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent conflicts in the former Soviet Union, the Armenian genocide, the collapse of Yugoslavia, the legacy of the civil war in Spain, Germanys reckoning with its Nazi past, and the memory of occupation and the Holocaust in France and Poland.
About the Author
David A. Messenger is chair and professor of history at the University of South Alabama. He is coeditor of A Nazi Past: Recasting German Identity in Postwar Europe and author of Hunting Nazis in Franco’s Spain.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Chapter 1. Studying the Cultural Memory of War: Theory and Practice
Chapter 2. Local, National, and International Memory of the First World War and the Armenian Genocide
Chapter 3. The Bolshevik Revolution, Communism, and Successor States after the First World War: Memory and Identity in Interwar Eastern Europe
Chapter 4. Victors’ Memory, Forgetting, and Recovery: Civil War Memory in Spain
Chapter 5. Germany, Nazism, Collaboration, and the Holocaust: The History of the Second World War in Europe
Chapter 6. Dealing with Nazism in Germany
Chapter 7. War Memory in France and Poland
Chapter 8. Finding the Holocaust and Jewish History in Contemporary Europe
Chapter 9. The Memory of Communism and Conflict in Eastern Europe
Chapter 10. War, Violence, and Memory Return: The Collapse of Yugoslavia and the War in Bosnia