How is the Holocaust remembered in Romania since the fall of communism? Alexandru Florian and an international group of contributors unveil how and why Romania, a place where large segments of the Jewish and Roma populations perished, still fails to address its recent past. These essays focus on the roles of government and public actors that choose to promote, construct, defend, or contest the memory of the Holocaust, as well as the tools—the press, the media, monuments, and commemorations—that create public memory. Coming from a variety of perspectives, these essays provide a compelling view of what memories exist, how they are sustained, how they can be distorted, and how public remembrance of the Holocaust can be encouraged in Romanian society today.
List of Abbreviations
Memory under Construction: Introductory Remarks / Alexandru Florian
Part I: Competing Memories and Historical Obfuscation
1. Ethnocentric Mindscapes and Mnemonic Myopia / Ana Bărbulescu
2. Post-Communist Romania's Leading Public Intellectuals and the Holocaust / George Voicu
3. Law, Justice, and Holocaust Memory in Romania / Alexandru Climescu
4. Romania: Neither "Fleishig" nor "Milchig": A Comparative Study / Michael Shafir
5. "Wanting-not-to-Know" about the Holocaust in Romania: A Wind of Change? / Simon Geissbühler
Part II: National Heroes, Outstanding Intellectuals or Holocaust Perpetrators?
6. Mircea Vulcănescu, a Controversial Case: Outstanding Intellectual or War Criminal? / Alexandru Florian
7. Ion Antonescu's Image in Post-Communist Historiography / Marius Cazan
8. Rethinking Perpetrators, Bystanders, Helpers/Rescuers, and Victims: A Case Study of Students' Perceptions / Adina Babeş
Alexandru Florian is Director of the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania.
" Holocaust Public Memory in Postcommunist Romania . . . is an excellent and timely addition to European historiography. The book consists of eight chapters, most of them written by scholars affiliated with the Elie Wiesel Institute. It not only shows the challenges faced in remembering Romania's involvement in the Holocaust, but provides an excellent comparative analysis with other countries in the region. "—Reading Religion
"While positive changes have taken place, a large gap exists between the historical facts and public knowledge about Romania and the Holocaust. This volume offers a fresh and nuanced understanding of the contemporary "battles of memory" in postcommunist Eastern Europe."—Diana Dumitru, author of, The State, Antisemitism, and Collaboration in the Holocaust
"An excellent analysis of the slow, but steady, evolution of Romania from heavy Holocaust denial and distortion toward a fair confrontation of its tragic past and useful for understanding not only the development of public memory in a new, post-communist democracy, but also the situation as compared to neighboring countries with similar pasts."—Radu Ioanid, author of, The Holocaust in Romania