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Center for German and European Studies Presents

Why Do Italy and Germany Confront the Legacy of the Holocaust and WWII so Differently?

11/19/17, 5:00 PM

About this event

Join us for this scholarly opportunity to dive deeper into the topic of Peace-Making in Post WWII Europe.

70 years have passed since the end of the Second World War. Despite the fact that the experience of repression, dictatorship and genocide is commonly regarded as being the founding myth of what later was to become the European Union, coming to terms with the events of WWII had been the exclusive task of the nation states, resulting in a wealth of very antagonistic national narratives. Controversies surrounding the question of the right format of remembrance and public commemoration of the experience of Nazism/Fascism have troubled politics and society everywhere in Europe. Discussions have been particularly dramatic in the two successor states of the Nazi/Fascist regime – Italy and Germany - where the difficulty of doing justice to different categories of victims and the conscious selection of what has to be publicly remembered and celebrated, has always been a thorny issue, reflecting the general social and political divisions present in both societies.
Using Italy and Germany as heuristic case studies, Aline Sierp analyses how different public memory cultures that have shaped public commemoration policies in Europe since 1945, have changed over time. By tracing back discussions on how the Nazi/Fascist past should be remembered and by investigating disputes centering on the question of what should be evoked by establishing a specific calendar of official remembrance days, she scrutinizes the consequences the political appropriation of the past can have.

Dr. Aline Sierp is Assistant Professor, Maastricht University, Netherlands. She is the author of History, Memory and Trans-European Identity (2014).

Refreshments will be served. A Q&A session will follow the talk.

Event Location
  • Social Sciences, room 710
  • 267 19th Avenue South
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA