The Past is Another Country: Myth and Memory in Postwar Europe

TitleThe Past is Another Country: Myth and Memory in Postwar Europe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsJudt, Tony
Start Page83

From the end of World War II until the revolutions of 1989, the frontiers of Europe and with the forms of identity associated with the term "European" were shaped by two dominant concerns: the pattern of diyisiondrafted at Yalta and frozen into place during the Cold War, and the desire, common to both sides of the divide, to forget the recent past and forge a new continent. In the West this took the form of a movement for transnational unification tied to the reconstruction and modernization of the West European economy; in the East an analogous unity, similarly obsesses with productivity, was imposed in the name of a shared interest in social revolution. Both sides of the divide had good reason to put behind them the experience of war and occupation, and a future-oriented vocabulary of social harmony and material improvement emerged to occupy a public space hitherto filled with older, divisive, and more provincial claims and resentments.

Short TitleThe Past is Another Country
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