August 10, 2022
42 b&w illus.
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v2.1 Reference

Growing in the Shadow of Antifascism

Remembering the Holocaust in State-Socialist Eastern Europe

Reined into the service of the Cold War confrontation, antifascist ideology overshadowed the narrative about the Holocaust in the communist states of Eastern Europe. This led to the Western notion that in the Soviet Bloc there was a systematic suppression of the memory of the mass murder of European Jews. Going beyond disputing the mistaken opposition between "communist falsification" of history and the "repressed authentic" interpretation of the Jewish catastrophe, this work presents and analyzes the ways as the Holocaust was conceptualized in the Soviet-ruled parts of Europe.

The authors provide various interpretations of the relationship between antifascism and Holocaust memory in the communist countries, arguing that the predominance of an antifascist agenda and the acknowledgment of the Jewish catastrophe were far from mutually exclusive. The interactions included acts of negotiation, cross-referencing, and borrowing. Detailed case studies describe how both individuals and institutions were able to use anti-fascism as a framework to test and widen the boundaries for discussion of the Nazi genocide. The studies build on the new historiography of communism, focusing on everyday life and individual agency, revealing the formation of a great variety of concrete, local memory practices.

About the Authors

Dr. Kata Bohus is senior research advisor at the University of Tromsø Dr. Peter Hallama is research fellow at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Stephan Stach is a historian at Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, Leipzig.


"An insightful exploration of the relationship between the memory of the Holocaust and antifascism in Eastern Europe in the midst of Cold War. By focusing on historiography, sites of memory, artistic representations, media, and public debate, Growing in the Shadow of Antifascism fills a critical gap in the literature and offers a dynamic, nuanced picture of a continued engagement with the Holocaust beyond suppression and marginalization."—Natalia Aleksiun

"This multifaceted, transnational volume on the shaping of Holocaust memory in the shadow of antifascism in Eastern Europe is a most welcome contribution to the growing literature on the dynamic interaction between history, politics, and memory of the Holocaust in postwar Europe. Through cutting edge research incorporating many heretofore largely unexamined sources, this timely volume demonstrates the multiple ways in which Holocaust survivors and other activists in Eastern Europe created a space for Holocaust memory within antifascist frameworks, and highlights the critical role local, grassroots, and bottom-up initiatives under state socialism in the GDR, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the USSR played in the shaping of memory, even within political frameworks often perceived to limit possibilities for expression."—Avinoam J. Patt
Central European University Press

9789633864357 : growing-in-the-shadow-of-antifascism-bohus-hallama-stach
340 Pages
$85.00 USD

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