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War Dead and the Restoration of Military Cemeteries in Eastern Europe

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This article examines the rebuilding of World War II cemeteries and mass graves. It compares the cult of the war dead in Germany, Romania and Russia and analyses examples of restorations of war cemeteries by these countries in Moldova. This reveals how the former war allies and adversaries now collaborate, as well as their attempts to overcome the political and ideological divides of recent decades through the reburial and remembrance of the war dead. The search for the war dead occurred at a time when each of these countries was “coming to terms” with its recent totalitarian past and, at the same time, was looking for recognition in a new international context. The convergence of the private and the political in the remembrance of the dead led at times to reconciliatory discourses and at others to a restatement of the “sacredness” of the past or of exclusivist national ideals.
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Keywords: Military Cemeteries; Public and Private Remembrance; War Dead

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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