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Cultures of History Forum

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collage 1989 commemorations in Berlin and Bratislava

Debating 20th Century History

The Revolution Continues

Memories of 1989 and the Defence of Democracy in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia

James Krapfl & Andrew Kloiber ·

How strong are memories of the 1989 revolution in Germany and the Czechoslovak successor states, and how do they reinforce democratic politics today? In a comparative review of the anniversary commemorations in Leipzig, Berlin, Prague and Bratislava, the article discusses to what extent these events managed to reanimate the civic spirit of 1989 and how they alert to contemporary threats to democracy.

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screenshot from the Youtube film 'Kolyma' by Yuri Dud

Debating 20th Century History

A Pop-Cultural Reappraisal of State Terror?

The YouTube film 'Kolyma – Birthplace of Our Fear' and Its Viewers

Anna Schor-Tschudnowskaja ·

A year ago, the documentary film 'Kolyma – Birthplace of Our Fear' was uploaded to YouTube. Made by the blogger Yuri Dud, it has received over 20 million views today, despite the fact that it addresses one of the darkest chapters of recent history in Russia - the Gulag. The article analyses the film and its popular appeal, not least among young audiences. It identifies three key phenomena of present-day Russia that the documentary addresses: fear, ambivalent attitudes towards Stalin and an ahistorical form of patriotism.

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Entrance to the New Exhibition in the Museum of Communism

Exhibiting 20th Century History

Museum or Tourist Attraction?

The Museum of Communism in Prague

Karolína Bukovská ·

Why is it that one of the most visited museums in Prague, the Museum of Communism, is largely ignored by Czechs? Whose narrative is being presented here and who is being addressed? The article reviews the history and current permanent exhibition of this private museum and uses it to reflect on broader issues relating to the definition and functions of contemporary museums.

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