Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.
About the Author
Joanna Wawrzyniak is Head of the Social Memory Laboratory at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. Among her recent books are Veterans, Victims, and Memory: The Politics of the Second World War in Communist Poland (Peter Lang, 2015) and Memory and Change in Europe: Eastern Perspectives (co-edited with Małgorzata Pakier, Berghahn Books, 2016).
Christian Ganzer is a PhD student at Leipzig University, Germany. His publications include a monograph on the Museum of the History of the Zaporozhian Cossackdom in the Ukraine (ibidem-Verlag, 2005). As the chief-editor of a Belarusian-German collective he published an anthology of primary sources on the first four weeks of the German-Soviet war 1941-1945 in the Belarusian city of Brest: Brest: Leto 1941 g. Dokumenty. Materialy. Fotografii [Brest: Summer 1941. Documents, Materials, Photos] (with Irina Yelenskaya, Yelena Pashkovich et al. (eds.). Smolensk: Inbelkul’t 2016. Second edition forthcomming in 2017).
Maria Senina is a historian at the Museum of the Political History of Russia in St. Petersburg. Her main academic interest is the history of Russia at the beginning of twentieth century
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface: Project's History
Introduction: The Enemy on Display
Chapter 1. Temple of Heroic Community: Soviet people, Leningraders and German-Fascists in the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg
Chapter 2. Temple of Romantic Martyrdom: Poles, Germans and Jews in the Historical Museum of Warsaw
Chapter 3. Forum Revising National Myths: Second World War in the Dresden City Museum
Appendix: Museum descriptions: The Second War World and City History
Notes on Contributors