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European conscience and totalitarianism: contested memory in the European Union


  • Alina HOGEA

    () (Temple University)


This paper examines the nexus between identity and politics of memory in the European Union, focusing on the ongoing conflict between remembrances of Stalinism/ Communism and Nazism/ Fascism at the European level. The enlargement of the European Union posed new challenges for the evolution of a common European society (politically, economically, culturally and historically), which would finally lead to a common European identity. Eastern Europeans have often been reminded of their identity as different from what being European meant (according to the Western ideology). While the Holocaust represents a central part of collective memory in the Western society, the Eastern Europeans are more concerned with their communist past in the construction of post-communist identities, which reveals another difference between the two parts of Europe. This paper critically analyzes the 2009 European Parliament debates on totalitarianism to clarify the contentious form in which Eastern Europeans struggle to gain a shared interpretation of the recent past as part of a larger European quest to come to terms with the communist past.

Suggested Citation

  • Alina HOGEA, 2012. "European conscience and totalitarianism: contested memory in the European Union," Revista Romana de Jurnalism si Comunicare - Romanian Journal of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies – Universitatea din Bucuresti, Facultatea de Jurnalism si Stiintele Comunicarii, issue 3-4, pages 59-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:foj:journl:y:2012:i:3-4:p:59-71

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    Politics of memory; collective identity; communism; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • Y8 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines


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