This essay illustrates the development of the politics of memory in post-Soviet Ukraine through an analysis of the building and/or adaptation of the main four memorials in the country: the Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, the Memorial of the Holocaust in Babyn Yar, the Memorial of the Victims of Stalinist Repressions in Bykivnia, and the Memorial of the Holodomor. Starting with a description of the univocal Soviet politics of memory of WWII (called the Great Patriotic War), I then describe the changes that occurred after 1991: the post-Soviet state was not able to elaborate a clear politics of memory in its first decade of existence and therefore followed the lead of the Ukrainian dissidents who, during the Soviet period, had commemorated Stalin’s purges as the nation’s greatest tragedy. A real turning point occurred in the Jushchenko presidency, which elevated the 1932-33 famine to the status of national holocaust, promoting a specific memorialization both in Ukraine and abroad. The essay concludes by underlining the importance of building and exploiting victim memorials in the construction of an effective politics of memory.

NATION BUILDING THROUGH COMMEMORATION: STALINISM, WWII, AND HOLOCAUST MEMORIALS IN POST-SOVIET UKRAINE

Bellezza, Simone Attilio
2019

Abstract

This essay illustrates the development of the politics of memory in post-Soviet Ukraine through an analysis of the building and/or adaptation of the main four memorials in the country: the Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, the Memorial of the Holocaust in Babyn Yar, the Memorial of the Victims of Stalinist Repressions in Bykivnia, and the Memorial of the Holodomor. Starting with a description of the univocal Soviet politics of memory of WWII (called the Great Patriotic War), I then describe the changes that occurred after 1991: the post-Soviet state was not able to elaborate a clear politics of memory in its first decade of existence and therefore followed the lead of the Ukrainian dissidents who, during the Soviet period, had commemorated Stalin’s purges as the nation’s greatest tragedy. A real turning point occurred in the Jushchenko presidency, which elevated the 1932-33 famine to the status of national holocaust, promoting a specific memorialization both in Ukraine and abroad. The essay concludes by underlining the importance of building and exploiting victim memorials in the construction of an effective politics of memory.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/751749
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