Historiography of Now

Russian/Soviet Monuments under Debate in Europe

  • Kristina Jõekalda (Autor/in)


Many East Europeans probably have the impression that they know more or less what is going on with the monuments in neighbouring regions; that they know what kinds of debates about historical memory have been held in past decades. Do we really? Even if we did know, the situation has changed rapidly over the past couple of years. This special issue documents the recent and ongoing public debates about Russian and Soviet monuments in Eastern and Central Europe. The actions taken in terms of actual removal of monuments vary greatly. While in some countries a shift is barely visible, in others hundreds of monuments have been dismantled or relocated in a short period of time, and it seems that, behind these actions, political – rather than expert – decisions have been the guiding force. The focus of this special issue is the historical and art historical perspec-tive on the statements about monuments by academics, heritage specialists, artists, journalists, think tank members and, of course, politicians. The 12 articles, some covering more than one state’s perspective, plus the introductory and concluding articles, offer a variety of analytical views on the developments in each country in a regional and wider comparison, documenting the professional, political and social reactions to the war in Ukraine as reflected in the public space.