Beyond Stones: A comparative essay on the Second World War dead as symbolic markers in the post-Yugoslav space and post-Soviet Moldova
Gabriela Popa – 2009
In this paper I analyze the revival of the Second World War dead in the post-Yugoslav space and post-Soviet Moldova. While in post-Yugoslav case the rediscovery of the Second World War massacres together with the exhumations and reburials of the forgotten dead took prominence in the nationalist politics of in 1990-1991 and later, Moldova presents a different case. Despite the centrality of the war commemorations in the state legitimation practices and despite preservation of numerous war monuments, the dead of the war did not enter the nationalist ideologies or the public discourses which erupted with the fall of the Soviet regime as revived symbolic resources. In explaining these differences, I look at specificities of the early nationalist movements, historical revisionism, and the role of the church and religion.