Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2005

In Osteuropa 4-6/2005

Unreconciled memory
War, Stalinism, and the shadows of patriotism

Maria Ferretti

Deutsche Fassung


In Russia, memories of the war are inextricably linked with Stalinism. The struggle against Nazi Germany led to the suppression of freedom in the USSR itself. Liberation and the absence of freedom cannot be separated from one another. Under Stalin, the reduction of memories of the war to their nationalist, patriotic component was the only officially accepted version. This form of memory continues to have its effects today, not just in the way the war is described as patriotic. It blocks our view of the spirit of freedom which motivated the actions of the frontoviki and partisans and also determined those of the allies. The liberation of memory from the fetters of Stalinism is the precondition that has to be fulfilled if the values of freedom that cannot be separated from memories of the war are to be appreciated in Russia as they are in the West.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2005, pp. 45–55)