Europe’s divided memories from 1945 onward. Some remarks on the European Integration crisis, by Carlo Spagnolo
The essay suggests the existence of a dual canon of European memories since 1945, consisting of incompatible national memories on the one hand and a cosmopolitan approach by European institutions, abstracting from the concrete experiences of its member countries, on the other hand. Split between winners and losers, post-war antifascist and anti-German memories coexisted thanks to the promises of European integration. Since the Seventies that narrative was shaken by a crisis of the US-Europe project and has changed its functions. After 1991 it casts a memory of the past under moral and supposedly apolitical values. The new politics of memory which emerged after enlargement in the XXI C. focuses on antitotalitarianism, cosmopolitism, and the victim paradigm. As the UE loses its promises for a better future, the European politics of memory becomes object of contention and conflict with territorial memories easily mobilised by “populist”, “eurocritical” movements. In absence of a democratic project for the EU, the dual canon becomes stiffer and a territorial clash of fragmented memories is now possible.
Keywords: Memories, European Politics of Memory, European Integration.
Controversial memories of World War II in continental Europe: a systematic confrontation between Germany, Austria and Italy, by Christoph Cornelissen
After 1945 the cultures of memory in Austria, Italy, Western and Eastern Germany developed in different ways even though their history had several common elements. Their post-war cultures of memory ignored decisive chapters of their common history, considering afterwards exclusively the national victims. After the end of the Cold War it was however possible to take back many of their removed memories and in the last twenty-five years the European dimension of that memory became a salient element of their public memory. In the analysis of the changes occurred after 1945 the essay points out three major phases: the first one until the 1970s, characterized by an attitude of reconciliation and consent; the second one, from the 1970s to 1989, during which a pluralisation of the cultures of memory occurred; and eventually the third phase, since 1989, with a Europeanization and universalisation of the cultures of memory.
Keywords: Memories, Cultures, Second Post-war, Europe.
Memory policies in France (1945-1991), by Patrizia Dogliani
The essay suggests that the making of a French national memory of WWII was primary established at Paris Liberation in August 1944 and was accomplished in the first years of the 4th Republic: 1945-47, led mainly by Gaullists and communists. Within the Cold War memories begun to split along political lines, till the arrival of De Gaulle and the founding of 5th Republic when the Gaullist memory became hegemonic. Since the 1980s the memory of Resistance became multiform: military, patriotic, Jewish, foreigner, etc., and a critical debate on collaborationism and on French responsibilities in the Holocaust emerged and increased. Only in the last decade, marked by two very different Presidents: Sarkozy and Holland, the historiography has not changed the core of the interpretations established at the turning of the century. The dilemma of “Europeanisation” remains open.
Keywords: France, Memories, Resistance, Gaullism, Communism, Europeanisation.
The Image of the US in British and European Memories of the War, by David W. Ellwood
The British and the ‘Europeans’ are divided by their memory of the war. The latter believe that nationalism caused the war and must be superseded at all cost. The British are convinced that nationalism saved them. After the war, the Americans sided with the Europeans, and from the Marshall Plan always supported the basic idea of European integration. During the war however, they showed very little interest in it, fixated as they were on their own, New Deal-style plans for European reconstruction. A key question remains as to how European élites came to understand these plans. The British and the French saw that they implied the end of their colonial empires. When this actually happened, the British chose America. But the heritage of Gaullism remained deeply suspicious, and this conditioned the French approach to European integration for years. In any event, it is during the war that the fundamental ideological gap opened up between an America devoted to free enterprise as a system, and a Europe dedicated to collectivism in all its forms.
Keywords: Nationalism, Imperialism, New Deal, Marshall Plan, Free Enterprise, Collectivism.
Europe and the post-war nation state. Short intervention on aspects of Europeanization in Italy, by Luigi Masella
Europeanism and formation of European memory cross with difficulty the policies of national memory throughout the history of Italy. To a post-war period, when economic growth and widespread improvement of the living conditions justify the reconstruction of national identity and at the same time a European, though mainly Atlantic, consensus, it follows a ten-years period when the apprehension for a weakness of the nation state and the urges to revisiting very critically its history, even doubting of its antifascist bases, promote policies to consolidate the national memory at the cost of weakening Europeanist choices, a process worsened by the international crisis and a weakening Italy in the European context.
Keywords: Europeanism, Nation-building, Anti-fascism, Republic, Memory Policies.
Internationalisms, Europeanisms and European Political Memories from the League of Nations to the EU’s Integration Process, by Claudia Villani
The revision of the historical narratives serving the Cold War system has set in motion a revision of the fundamental dimensions of twentieth-century European collective identities: national and cultural identities, Western and Eastern identities and the European integrational identity. The relation with one’s past seems to have reached a dead end: some aspects of Europe’s historical memory (such as the Holocaust) have become globalized, but at the same time one can witness the dramatic growth of competing memories. This essay shows how the political problem of the relation between identity and collective memory in Europe emerged as early as the interwar period and was particularly felt in some transnational political and intellectual circles centred on the League of Nations and which promoted, in the framework of international intellectual cooperation, some specific memory policies.
Keywords: Europe, Memory Policies, League of Nations, International Network.
The construction of “another memory” linked to the “Washington Consensus” (1971-1989), by Isidoro Mortellaro
Our world, in the Third Millennium, is the result of all crashes in post-war balances known as “Trente Glorieuses”, the thirty years of growth. Nixon and the dollar made free from the chains of Bretton Woods, the oil crisis, a new planetary conscience have set extraordinary energies free and pushed out the world towards the neo-liberal age. This new season, strengthen by the discovery of “human rights”, appears disconnected from politics leading to a social transformation, to build a more equal society. With the end of the seventies the path is open to the power of markets, finance, “the minimal State”, that “Washington Consensus” understood as the laws and rules of regulation in economics and finance promoted by FMI and WB. Anxiety and unsureness take place of hope in a better future. That’s why, to build a different future, the answers are searched in the past. It’s a long and hard journey into memory.
Keywords: Memory, Consensus, Propaganda.
From the Council of Europe to the Union: European history and citizenship, by Marcello Verga
The essay analyzes the policy of history promoted by the Council of Europe and later by the European Union, not so much to emphasize its continuity, but rather to insist on the use of history for the construction of European citizenship: from the Round Table in Rome 1953 to the opening of the House of European History in May 2017.
Keywords: History of Europe, European Citizenship, Council of Europe and Cultural Policy, Public use of History in European Union politics.
The Italian-German Historical Commission and the building of a “Common Memory Culture”: between National Dimensions, Bilateral Relations and European Framework, by Filippo Focardi
From 2000 until 2008, bilateral relations between Italy and Germany were repeatedly troubled by issues related to the legacy of the German occupation of Italy during World War II: in particular the lack of compensation to Italian Military Internees (IMI) and a new wave of trials in Italy against German war criminals. Among the instruments that the two governments have set up to settle these claims there was a Commission made up of Italian and German historians who worked from 2009 to 2012, producing a final report in which some recommendations were made to favour a Reconciliation between the two countries through specific memory policies. The German Parliament subsequently allocated € 4 million to implement these policies. The actions taken, including joint state visits to the places of the Nazi massacres, aimed primarily at neutralizing compensation claims from victims’ associations and family members and had only a weak impact on the respective national public opinions.
Keywords: World War II, German Occupation, Reparations, War Criminals, Historical Commissions.
Europe in the Second World War between history and memory. Historiographical paths between national identities, comparative approaches and transnational perspectives, by Andrea D’Onofrio
The issue of defining the identity of a Europe no longer divided by the iron curtain has recently become more contradictory. After the Cold War, the Old Continent seeks a common historical identity on the base of a transnational memory. Europe and the projects for a common memorial and historical dimension have become crucial topics of an increasing number of meetings, conferences, workshops national and international debates among political scientists, historians, social scientists, experts of international relations and cultural studies. The essay offers an updated overview of some topics and themes of the recent historiography and suggests that these studies seem to face directly or indirectly the inputs and troubles of a EU agenda, in which over the last decades become stronger the instances for defining a common European historical memory, though policies and measures not without ambiguities and contradictions.
Keywords: History of Europe, Memory, Historical Identity, Cold War.