Online Memories: The battle over online memory on Europe Day

On 26 March 2019, the Barcelona city government installed an upright historical marker in front of the local headquarters of the National Police in the centrally located thoroughfare of Via Laietana. The gesture was all but a symbolic act of remembrance that might have gone unnoticed except for the media firestorm that it touched off on social media. The reason: it was a troubling reminder of torture.

In or out? Social reaction to the exhumation of Franco from the Valle de los Caídos

Forty-four years passed between the interment of Franco on 23 November 1975 and his exhumation on 24 October 2019. In Spanish society, a range of feelings have been expressed about the final location of the person who was dictator for four long decades. His death and burial in the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) had a strong impact in the media and in society that was almost paralysing. This was due more to the political consequences Franco’s death would have than to the formal procedure of his funeral. The ceremony within the basilica, which culminated with the placing of a slab engraved with his name and the obligatory protocol, was accompanied outside by Falangists, traditionalists, ex-prisoners, provisional second lieutenants, Legionnaire knights, brotherhoods of fighters, Portuguese Viriatos and members of the Portuguese secret police (PIDE), Romanian iron guards, Croatians, Italian fascists and German neo-Nazis, in a multicolour landscape of blue, black and brown shirts adorned with the medals of Mussolini, Hitler, Salazar and Franco. The monument erected under the direction of Franco with the labour of Republican political prisoners already fulfilled the purpose for which it had been constructed. It housed the embalmed body of Francisco Franco, Caudillo de España por la Gracia de Dios (Leader of Spain, by the Grace of God), as he was called insistently by his entourage of hagiographers from 1939, the end of the Civil War.

Memory of Tomorrow. By Piotr M. A. Cywiński

Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum  Cover picture: Visitors in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum | EUROM Whether visitor attendance is good or poor, whether it grows or remains stable, is not the essence of the matter. Attendance seen in terms of a sacred, annual number is really just a museum …

Predappio and the memory of the dictatorship. By M. Flores and C. Giunchi

Marcello Flores, Historian, professor at the Università degli Studi di Siena, and Carlo Giunchi, cultural manager Cover picture: Souvenir shop in Predappio main street | EUROM It was recently announced that the mayor of the town of Predappio had decided to use a large disused building, the former Casa del Fascio e dell’Ospitalitá, as a …

Once victors, now victims. How do the Argentine military remember their recent past?

Picture: Operativo Independencia, to dismantle the ERP. Tucumán, Argentina (1975) | Public domain By Valentina Salvi, an assistant researcher at CIS-CONICET / IDES. Associate Professor of Social Theory “Georg Simmel” of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires and of Sociology of Culture of the Department of Art and Culture of the …

Left Unsettled. Confessions of Armed Revolutionaries

Picture: Members of the Ejército Guerrillero del Pueblo in Salta, 1964 | Revista El Sur   By Leigh A Payne,  Latin American Centre, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies   What happens when armed left guerrilla or revolutionary fighters confess to past violence? Can they contribute to building stronger democracies or human rights cultures? …

The Memorial’s Vernacular Arc Between Berlin’s Denkmal and New York City’s 9/11 Memorial. By James E. Young

James E. Young Ph.D., Emeritus Distinguished Professor of English and Judaic and Near Eastern Studies Founding Director, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (UMass Amherst)   Adapted from The Stages of Memory:  Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016)   In April 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation …

Time, Memory and History. At the crossroads of European Memory. By Henry Rousso

Henry Rousso Senior researcher at the Institut d’Histoire du Temps Présent (CNRS, Paris) Version reviewed and corrected by the author For an extended reading check also: Rousso, Henry. Face au passé. Essais sur la mémoire contemporaine, Paris, Belin, 2016 The need to understand the past and provide a collective representation of history is anything but …