Making Room for the Holocaust? : Entangled Memory Regimes and Polarized Contestation about the Greek 1940s in Thessaloniki

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Hugo Valentin-centrum

Sammanfattning: The present thesis offers a new perspective on Holocaust memory in Greece by examining the ways in which divergent mnemonic representations about the Greek 1940s, as evidenced in polarized public contestation, influence the position of Holocaust in contemporary Greek collective memory. Adopting a micro-level case-study approach, the thesis focuses on the process of renaming a street in Salonika (or Thessaloniki), by examining public discourses around the issue. On the basis of theoretical elaborations in the area of collective memory, and through an application of Kubik and Bernhard's conceptualization of the politics of memory, a qualitative evaluation of Holocaust memory in Salonika is presented by attempting to categorize the memory regime emerging. It is assessed that the memory regime pertaining to the Holocaust is affected by the salience of pre-established memory regimes, occupies a secondary status in the wider mnemonic field and, what is more, is not unified. In such context, a problematic tendency to actually distort the historical record of the Holocaust, in the form of downplaying the complicity of local elites in the implementation of the Nazi genocidal policy, is also detected and explained as a repercussion of the specific dynamics at play whenever political actors engage in discussions about the Greek 1940s. All things considered, the study demonstrates that the official institutionalization of Holocaust memory on a commemorative level, a phenomenon observed during the past twenty years, should not be equated to the emergence of a cosmopolitan Holocaust memory in the country. 

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