Cover Osteuropa 6/2008

In Osteuropa 6/2008

Under the Spell of War
Memorials and Memory Culture in Belarus

Astrid Sahm

Deutsche Fassung


In Belarus, war memorials are omnipresent. They attest to the fact that under President Lukashenka the Soviet legacy continues to dominate the landscape of memory. As in the Soviet era, the exaltation of war heroes aims to create national figures of identification. However, depictions of the Belarusian people’s experience with annihilation are also to be found, the most prominent one being the memorial site Khatyn’. Since 1992, public commemoration of individual victim groups has become possible in Belarus as well, in particular the victims of the Holocaust. By contrast, the memory of Stalinist repression continues to be suppressed. Nonetheless, a transformation of Belarusian memory culture is underway.

(Osteuropa 6/2008, pp. 229–246)