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The Enemy on Display

The Second World War in Eastern European Museums

Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina

190 pages, 18 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-217-1 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Published (June 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78533-760-4 $27.95/£19.00 Pb Not Yet Published (December 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78238-218-8 eBook

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“The study contains a multitude of interesting details and observations pertaining to various regimes of collective memory, the specifics of national and local commemorations, and the inclusion of contested past into the fabric of museum exhibitions.” · Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research

“Certain key passages make very important and significant points about the depiction of the past in the recently ‘museified’ Eastern European countries. The focus on Dresden, Warsaw, and Leningrad/St. Petersburg works very well as each thematically driven case study complements each other and offers new ways of understanding images of the enemy in historicized museum depictions.” · Keir Reeves, Monash University

Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.

Zuzanna Bogumił is Assistant Professor at the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw and a member of the Social Memory Laboratory at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. Her most recent book is Gulag Memory (Universitas, 2012).

Joanna Wawrzyniak is Head of the Social Memory Laboratory at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. Among her recent books is the co-authored oral history documentary Rebels: The 1970s and 1980s in Poland (Świat Książki, 2011).

Tim Buchen is a research fellow at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). His PhD dissertation on anti-Semitism in Habsburg Galicia won the Immanuel Kant Award from the German Federal Representative for Culture and Media in 2012.

Christian Ganzer is a PhD student at Leipzig University, Germany. His publications include a monograph on the Museum of the History of the Zaporozhian Cossackdom in the Ukraine (ibidem-Verlag, 2005).

Maria Senina is a historian at the Museum of the Political History of Russia in St. Petersburg. Her main academic interest is the history of Russia at the beginning of twentieth century

Series: Volume 7, Museums and Collections
Subject: Museum Studies WWII History
Area: Central/Eastern Europe

LC: D733.E87B64 2015

BISAC: ART059000 ART/Museum Studies; HIS027100 HISTORY/Military/World War II

BIC: GM Museology & heritage studies; HBWQ Second World War


List of Illustrations

Preface: Project's History
Zuzanna Bogumił

Zuzanna Bogumił

Introduction: The Enemy on Display

Chapter 1. Temple of Heroic Community: Soviet people, Leningraders and German-Fascists in the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg
Chapter 2. Temple of Romantic Martyrdom: Poles, Germans and Jews in the Historical Museum of Warsaw
Chapter 3. Forum Revising National Myths: Second World War in the Dresden City Museum


Appendix: Museum descriptions: The Second War World and City History

Notes on Contributors

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