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Borderlands of Memory

Adriatic and Central European Perspectives

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Edited By Borut Klabjan

The complex intertwining of history, memory, space, place and identity in borderlands is the topic of this edited collection. Using a transnational analysis of multi-layered cases from the northern Adriatic and Central Europe, the essays address fundamental questions in the history of the twentieth century. The geographical areas under scrutiny have experienced regular re-drawings of political borders, reconfigurations of state orders, and changes in ideological frameworks. The symbolic boundaries that formed the mental map of the modern world were located here: West vs East, Latin vs German vs Slavic, European vs Oriental, antifascism vs fascism, capitalism vs communism, etc. These symbolic dimensions influence the local reality, intersecting with international developments and global processes. How these changes in ideology, state and the resulting spatial politics have functioned within varying historical frameworks, and what we can learn from their changing meanings, is the main focus of this volume. Its content represents a privileged perspective on understanding ruptures as well as continuities in memory cultures, commemorative practices, situational identifications and the varying politics of the past in European borderlands.

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10 Memory, Revision, Resistance: Reviving the Partisan Monuments along the Slovenian-Italian Border (Oto Luthar)

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Oto Luthar

10 Memory, Revision, Resistance: Reviving the Partisan Monuments along the Slovenian-Italian Border

Abstract: By creating a topography of the memorial landscape in the border area between Slovenia and Italy, the author aims to identify the key factors that contributed to the changing interpretation of the Second World War in the semi-rural region east of Trieste and Gorizia. Gathering the material on partisan monuments erected between 1948 and 1977 and interviewing the villagers and members of Second World War veteran organizations, the author attempts to discover whether the changing communal memory can be understood as a part of the on-going politics of the past, which in Slovenia still breathes revenge as often as it does reconciliation. The author investigates whether the changing local commemoration practices in particular should be considered a form of resistance against historical revisionism primarily anchored in the conservative right-wing memory politics that seek to rehabilitate Nazi and fascist collaborators.

The following article looks at changes in the management of the memorial landscape in Slovenia, with a particular focus on the Slovenian-Italian border region between Trst/Trieste and Gorica/Gorizia.

Having analysed the process of the radical reinterpretation of the history of the Second World War in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia for years already, I became particularly interested in what might be described as a popular opposition to the mainstream rearrangement of the memory of partisan resistance and local collaboration with the Nazi and fascist occupying forces.

The...

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