Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020

Stilted commemoration in Belarus
Maly Trostenets, the Holocaust and the culture of remembrance

Sjarhej Novikaǔ, Yuliya von Saal

Deutsche Fassung


Maly Trostenets was one of the largest death camps of the National Socialist regime in Eastern Europe. It hardly featured at all in the European commemoration of the war in recent decades. Now, it is the site of a large memorial. However, it does not fulfil the role of either a commemoration site or a place of learning, and Trostenets is also not a European, transnational place of remembrance of the Holocaust. The original concept and the result are too far apart, and the engagement with the past is too strongly dominated by political factors and the ideology of “Belarusian statehood”. The singularity of the Holocaust becomes lost in the representation of the suffering of the “peace-ful civilian population”. The commemorative landscape of Maly Trostenets mirrors the Belarusian culture of remembrance.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 399–418)