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Collective Traumas

Memories of War and Conflict in 20th-Century Europe


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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The Memory of Unexpressed Trauma. The Romanian 1960s (Adrian Velicu) 215


215 The Memory of Unexpressed Trauma The Romanian 1960s Adrian VELICU The 1960s meant for Romania a limited cultural relaxation internally and political defiance against Moscow externally. Most of this decade also stands out because of what preceded it and what followed it. The direct physical terror with mass and arbitrary arrests of the late 1940s and of the 1950s faded out. The peculiar combination of nationalism and ideological orthodoxy signalled by the July Theses of 1971 was yet to come, and so were the ruinous economic and social policies of the 1980s. How do some of the witnesses remember and understand this period of less rigid ideological control? And what is the role of these recollections in coming to terms with the trauma caused by a dictator- ship? This discussion of the memories of a number of intellectuals active in the 1960s attempts to provide a few answers.1 I also use a few unpub- lished documents originating with the Romanian censorship and several printed memoirs.2 The interviewees’ accounts help to explore some of the circumstances that condition the recollection and overall image of a controversial period. And since politics and culture are decisive for the perception of the decade, forty years later the interviewees remember them selectively, providing idiosyncratic explanations and restating them as considered judgements. 1 I have interviewed the following persons: Tiberiu Avramescu, Eugen Blajan, Gabriela Dimisianu, Maria Graciov, Gheorghe Pienescu and Mihai Sora, all of whom worked in publishing; Ion Brad (writer and diplomat), Florin Constantiniu...

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