The geopolitical conceptions of Vladimir Putin are strikingly reminiscent of the visions of Friedrich Ratzel, Karl Haushofer and especially Joseph Stalin. Putin basically thinks the same things as these figures but needs more justification. This is where a “memory masquerade” comes in, involving Nazism, racism, antisemitism and a reminder of the origins of Russia's greatness. The portfolio of historical and memorial references does not stop at European history for Russia.
On June 28th 2005 the Warsaw-based Batory Foundation organised a conference titled “Memory and Foreign Policy”. During this event, Bronisław Geremek, a historian and Poland’s former minister of foreign affairs, asked a question as to whether collective memory is part of foreign policy. His answer was the following: "I think it is a part of international relations, for example when governments protest when national dignity is attacked. Of course, it is a part of international negotiations, for example to open access to archives … but all this is only marginal in foreign policy.” We shall see whether this marginality of memory is true today.
February 15, 2023 -