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Veterans, Victims, and Memory

The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland


Joanna Wawrzyniak

In the vast literature on how the Second World War has been remembered in Europe, research into what happened in communist Poland, a country most affected by the war, is surprisingly scarce. The long gestation of Polish narratives of heroism and sacrifice, explored in this book, might help to understand why the country still finds itself in a «mnemonic standoff» with Western Europe, which tends to favour imagining the war in a civil, post-Holocaust, human rights-oriented way. The specific focus of this book is the organized movement of war veterans and former prisoners of Nazi camps from the 1940s until the end of the 1960s, when the core narratives of war became well established.
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Series index

Warsaw Studies in Contemporary History

Edited by Dariusz Stola / Machteld Venken

Vol.  1Maciej Górny: The Nation Should Come First. Marxism and Historiography in East Central Europe. 2013.
Vol.  2Zofia Wóycicka: Arrested Mourning. Memory of the Nazi Camps in Poland, 1944-1950. 2013.
Vol.  3Anna Witeska-Młynarczyk: Evoking Polish Memory. State, Self and the Communist Past in Transition. 2014.

Studies in Contemporary History

Vol.  4Joanna Wawrzyniak: Veterans, Victims, and Memory. The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland. Translated by Simon Lewis. 2015.