“We will not make this mistake a second time.” With these words, Vladimir Putin justified Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine, referencing Stalin’s failed attempts in appeasing Hitler and thereby eqating the United States and NATO allies with Nazi Germany. But the fight over historical interpretations did not begin in February 2022, nor is it unique to contemporary Russia. We also see it closer to home: in the nostalgic language of the far right and populist parties in Germany, France or Poland. In the political discourse of the AfD, the Rassemblement National or PiS, we find prominent appeals to a country’s glorious or noble history, which sidelines tragic events of national guilt. In this episode, Félix Krawatzek discusses the use of history and particulary of nostalgia in Russia and beyond with Jörg Morré and Oleg Lutohin, who are both engaged in portraying and exhibiting contemporary history – in theory and in practice. They talk about Soviet nostalgia and the situation of museums in Russia and they discuss how to avoid the political cooptation of memorial sites and museums.
Roundtable Osteuropa is a podcast by the Centre for East European and International Studies. Scholars of ZOiS and their guests discuss their research of Eastern Europe. We consider events in politics and society, while also trying to shed light on lesser-known issues – with insights from sociology, political science, geography, social anthropology, literary studies and theology.