ABOUT THIS BOOK
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.