Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2014

In Osteuropa 11-12/2014

Memorial and Its History
Russia’s Historical Memory

Evgenija Lezina

Deutsche Fassung


Anybody who studies the process of confronting the past in general and Stalinism in particular, as well as the present situation of human rights in Russia, cannot get around the organization Memorial. It is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations in Russia. Sometimes, it seems as if Memorial is better known abroad than at home. Memorial’s successes in working on Russia’s historical memory are beyond dispute. However, important goals have yet to be met: the Soviet state’s use of terror against its own people was never officially condemned, nor was a lustration of the perpetrators ever carried out. And to this day, there is no central memorial for the victims. All this foundered due to the political environment. The authoritarian state determines not only the limits of historical investigation, but is also trying to force an association such as the human rights centre Memorial to register as a “foreign agent”.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2014, pp. 165–176)