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Collective Traumas

Memories of War and Conflict in 20th-Century Europe

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Edited By Conny Mithander, John Sundholm and Maria Holmgren Troy

Collective Traumas is about the traumatic European history of the 20 th century – war, genocide, dictatorship, ethnic cleansing – and how individuals, communities and nations have dealt with their dark past through remembrance, historiography and legal settlements. Memories, and especially collective memories, serve as foundations for national identities and are politically charged. Regardless whether memory is used to support or to challenge established ideologies, it is inevitably subject to political tensions. Consequently, memory, history and amnesia tend to be used and abused for different political and ideological purposes. From the perspectives of historical, literary and visual studies the essays focus on how the experiences of war and profound conflict have been represented and remembered in different national cultures and communities.
This volume is a vital contribution to memory studies and trauma theory.
Collective Traumas is a result of the multidisciplinary research project on Memory Culture that was initiated in 2002 at Karlstad University, Sweden. A previous publication with Peter Lang is Memory Work: The Theory and Practice of Memory (2005).

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Open Wounds? Trianon, the Holocaust and the Hungarian Trauma (Kristian Gerner) 79

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79 Open Wounds? Trianon, the Holocaust and the Hungarian Trauma1 Kristian GERNER Trianon was the name of a village in the neighbourhood of Versailles. Louis XIV erased it and built a palace where he could retire for light meals (“Grand Trianon”). In the context of the Paris Peace Conference on 4 June 1920 in the Grand Trianon palace the Hungarian government – only represented by ‘nobodies,’ not by high-ranking politicians2 – was forced to sign a peace treaty that reduced the territory of the Hungarian state by almost three quarters and its population by more than three fifths. In absolute figures it was diminished from 325,000 to 92,916 square kilometres and from 21 to 8 million inhabitants. The new boundaries cut straight through 220 communes (Szende 116). The Trianon treaty has been a prominent site of memory in Hung- arian historical culture from the day it was signed. ‘Trianon’ remained politically significant in the interwar period and again from the 1970s until 2004. The hiatus in the political dimension between 1947/48, when Hungary signed another peace treaty in Paris and Stalinist dictatorship was established in the country, and the late 1970s was caused by censorship and the policies regarding history in Hungary. 564,000 Hungarian Jews became victims of the Holocaust. This included people from the territories that Hungary had captured in 1938- 41 from Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. In the first years after the end of the Second World War, the Holocaust was not an issue in Hungarian...

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