Too Little History – Too Much Memory. Silence and Responsibility in Post-war Yugoslavia Cover Image
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Too Little History – Too Much Memory. Silence and Responsibility in Post-war Yugoslavia
Too Little History – Too Much Memory. Silence and Responsibility in Post-war Yugoslavia

Author(s): Slavenka Drakulić
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Südosteuropa Gesellschaft e.V.

Summary/Abstract: In her essay the author, one of Croatia’s best-known writers, describes how in the countries of former Yugoslavia today’s young generation, in the same way as the generation born after the Second World War, has failed to ask questions about their fathers’ role during the wars and thus also failed to take responsibility for the historical truth. Therefore, both generations were and still are prone to ideological manipulation. As a matter of fact, facing the truth is a precondition for reconciliation. Only very recently, the heads of state of Croatia and Serbia as well as the parliament in Belgrade have taken important steps to proceed towards reconciliation. These steps are of crucial importance, as political elites have to show a visible and credible determination before the idea of reconciliation can reach the citizens. The author identifies a number of additional preconditions for reconciliation: One is justice – more specifically the sentencing of one’s own war criminals. Reconciliation also needs a psychological framework that considers inter-ethnic collaboration a normal and welcome activity. The adoption of anti-nationalist values needs the support of the media as well. Historical research and history education must unconditionally be based on facts, rather than myths and ideology. Finally, culture has to provide a public arena for the articulation of truth and it has to facilitate its acceptance. It has thus to enable the free circulation of ideas instead of acting as a propaganda machine.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 6-17
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English