The Kremlin is striving to erase any historical discourse that undermines the official narrative that Russia must be ruled by an authoritarian system of government. History is rewritten, its dark chapters are glossed over, and independent historians are repressed. This is not just a whim of the former KGB officers who rule the country. Their goal is to perpetuate practices that strengthen Russian authoritarianism, which is based on systemic violence against the country’s citizens.
Today, it may seem like the idea of a communist state is nothing but a relic of the 20th century. Despite this, many countries are still officially communist, mixing rhetoric with market economics in a way that often proves attractive to other states.
On September 17th, Belarus celebrated its so-called “Day of National Unity”, an official holiday created on June 7th by Lukashenka’s edict. The date echoes the events of 1939, when the Soviet army entered Poland's territory as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Based on official interpretations and discourse, this text attempts to briefly demonstrate the flawed official logic that led Minsk to choose this date as a public holiday.
The Jews have been erased twice from the history of Belarus. Physically by the Nazis and symbolically by Soviet propaganda. In recent times they have increasingly more space in the Belarusian collective memory.
A review of Kriegsgedenken als Event. Der 9. Mai 2015 im postsozialistischen Europa (War memory as an event. May 9th 2015 in post-socialist Europe). Edited by: Mischa Gabowitsch, Cordula Gdaniec, and Ekaterina Makhotina. Publisher: Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn, Germany, 2017.
In the eastern parts of the European continent, 1918 is remembered not only as the end of the First World War, but also saw the emergence of newly-independent states and the rise of geopolitical struggles which are felt until this day.
Vladimir Putin is set to win a fourth term as president of the Russian Federation. The March-April 2018 issue takes a deeper look at the consequences of Putin’s presidency and what could eventually come after…
“The price of Europeanising the Balkans is much higher than the price of the Balkanisation of Europe,” claims Zagreb-based writer Miljenko Jergović in the opening essay to this issue of New Eastern Europe.