Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Avoidance of the Past

Commenting on Russia’s recent criticism of the March 25 commemoration of the 1949 deportations in Estonia, Vladimir Socor writes that

At the societal level […] Russia has not experienced the post-totalitarian process known in post-totalitarian Germany as Vergangenheits-Bewaeltigung, the paradigmatic “coming to terms” with history, including its crimes. Absent such coming to terms, many Russian officials and citizens tend to confuse occupations and annexations with liberations, cling to symbols of brutal conquest as attributes of national prestige, and seem startled when confronted with these issues. The aborted coming to terms with Soviet history is casting shadows on Russia’s relations with its neighbors.
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