Confronting Memories of World War II
European and Asian Legacies
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Washington Press
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A workshop of a small group of the best analysts of the contentious twentieth century in both Europe and East Asia was convened at Stanford University on June 16–17, 2011, to deepen the comparative scholarship of how historical memory of the wartime past has been formed and how that legacy continues...
Daniel Chirot, Gi-Wook Shin, and Daniel Sneider
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In 2013, hardly a day went by without some mention in many leading news media throughout the world of the dispute between China and Japan over a set of tiny islands variously called Senkaku by Japan, which owns them, and Diaoyu by China, which claims them. Typical is the story in the...
I. The Debate over Remembrances of World War II
1. Admitting Guilt Is Neither Common Nor Easy: Comparing World War II Memories in Europe and East Asia
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If we are to discuss remembrances, expressions of guilt, and the possibilities of reconciliation for past wartime and colonial wrongs, we need to cast a wide net, because there are few if any states and nations so free of wrongdoing that they are entitled to propose for themselves perfectly...
2. Interrupted Memories: The Debate over Wartime Memory in Northeast Asia
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There are two obstacles to understanding how historical memory about the wartime period has been formed in Northeast Asia. The first is the existence of persistent national myths about war memory—myths created within those nations and perceptions formed from the outside and...
II. Divided Memories about Collaboration and Resistance
3. Different Strokes: Historical Realism and the Politics of History in Europe and Asia
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One of the most striking developments in international politics in recent decades has been the heightened salience of history and historical justice issues. While such questions have long been a concern on the level of domestic politics, only recently have states sought through the offer of...
4. Divided Memories of World War II in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies: Sukarno and Anne Frank as Icons of Dutch Historical Imagination
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With a bit of hyperbole, one could argue that during the past fifty years, the memory of Anne Frank has served not only as an icon in World War II memories in the Netherlands but also as a foil for lingering questions about the varying degrees of Nazi collaboration among a sizable proportion...
5. France and the Memory of Occupation
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There are significant differences between the way that the memory of war and occupation has evolved in Northeast Asia and Western Europe. In Europe, beginning in the early 1950s the logic of the Cold War contributed toward Franco-German rapprochement; in Asia, it acted as an obstacle...
III. Paths to Reconciliation
6. Historical Reconciliation in Northeast Asia: Past Efforts, Future Steps, and the U.S. Role
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As with many other cases around the world, regional reconciliation in Northeast Asia first occurred between governments in the postwar era. Japan established diplomatic relations with countries it had once invaded or colonized: with the Republic of China in 1952, with the Republic of...
7. Israelis and Germany after the Second World War: Is Reconciliation Possible? Can Universal Lessons Be Drawn?
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Israeli-Jewish readers are often surprised when they come across references to the Holocaust in East Asian literature. Such references are quite rare, but they are not expected to be otherwise. While Western, more specifically European, and in particular German remembrance of the genocide...
IV. The Past as Present and the Psychological Response to Different Kinds of Memory
8. Historical Memories and International Relations in Northeast Asia
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As Daniel Sneider argues in this volume, when debates on the past resumed after the Cold War, instead of contributing to reconciliation, they exacerbated distrust through distortions aimed at rallying domestic support behind a narrowly contentious cause. Igor Torbakov, in a later chapter...
9. Divisive Historical Memories: Russia and Eastern Europe
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There appears to be a consensus among professional historians and political analysts that over the past several decades, the “politics of history” has become a significant aspect of domestic politics and international relations, both within Europe and in the world at large.1 This trend toward politicizing...
10. Guilt, Shame, Balts, Jews
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Few events have ever brought back the memory of World War II as powerfully as the collapse of Communism and the resurrection of independent Baltic states. Modern Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were born from the rubble of World War I and struggled and thrived for about twenty years...
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Page Count: 340
Publication Year: 2014