Čepaitienė R. Strategies and problems of safeguarding the heritage of totalitarian regimes (.pdf)


The article surveys the wide range of issues connected with the perception, evaluation, interpretation and protection of the heritage of the totalitarian regimes. On the basis of numerous examples of material remains of fascist, Nazi and communist heritage located in the territories of Italy, Germany, countries of the former Soviet bloc, and the USSR, the author tries to identify the main approaches to this “hard” and “controversial” heritage. The preservation and the usage of this heritage still raises many discussions and conflicts in the states that formerly experienced the influence of those regimes. The attitude to this very specific form of the heritage mainly depends on the positive, negative or neutral interpretation of the given period in the context the contemporary great national narrative of each country. The difficulties of defining the concept of “totalitarian” Soviet (and, in some cases, Nazi) heritage, the diversity of its forms and management strategies of its conservation do not allow to fix and to estimate clearly the attitude of post-communist countries to that difficult period. The debate on the attitude to the Soviet legacy in Lithuania, as in other post-Soviet countries, indicates that the idea that heritage resources should serve political and ideological interests is still alive among the political elite and society.


Key words: totalitarian heritage, dissonance, strategies of the preservation, fascism, Nazism, Bolshevism, socialist camp, the USSR.


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