Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Usable History?

Representations of Yugoslavia's difficult past - from 1945-2002

A part of the subject areas and

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248 pages ill.
ISBN 978 87 7934 568 3



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About the book

When Yugoslavia was invaded by Nazi Germany and its allies in April 1941, what followed was as much a Yugoslav civil war as a war of occupation and liberation. Several hundred-thousand Yugoslav civilians were killed by other Yugoslavs in large-scale massacres or concentration camps, and the horrific events left the country ruined and deeply divided.

USABLE HISTORY? examines the way in which the history of Yugoslavia's internal problematic past was presented and used politically and ideologically, and asks how a society can cope with such an "unmasterable" history. How did Yugoslav historians and politicians represent and explain their own history and how did these representations interact with the cultural developments, political demands and societal needs? By investigating political documents, historiography and popular representations of history such as films, songs and literature, the book's author reveals a deeply disturbing narrative of historical (mis)interpretation and (mis)use.

Table of contents

Introduction: Thematization, historical culture and genocide

The Second World War in Yugoslavia

Establishing an official narrative, 1945-1948

Massacres in memoirs and fiction, 1945-1952

Titoist institutional historiography, 1945-1960

New perspectives on wartime history, 1960-1980

Public commemorations and popular culture, 1060-1080

The breakdown of communist history

Genocide as a cardinal theme, 1984-1989

National conflicts and national historical cultures, 1990-2002

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