‘Slavenka Drakulić: violence, memory, and the nation’ | S. Drakulic & H. McRobie- openDemocracy

‘Slavenka Drakulić: violence, memory, and the nation’ | S. Drakulic & H. McRobie- openDemocracy

Those living in former Yugoslav republics, which are now new states, carry a heavy burden of a totalitarian society. The burden of this is a division, a gap between official history and personal memory. There, historical facts were often twisted according to the communist party ideology and its benefit. Memory was a private matter and it did not necessarily correspond with such “history.” Therefore, in some cases it was even dangerous to mention it. Nowadays the situation is, regardless of democratic political system, pretty much the same. National history is “adjusted” to suit the ruling ideology. Truth depends on which nation is presenting it. In this region we still do not agree on common history, there is no consensus about the minimum truth we can all accept in order to move on. So long as this doesn’t happen, memory will be in jeopardy and subject to political manipulation. But common history is not easy to establish – look at France and Germany and how long it took them to overcome the Second World War.

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