Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Globalisation Studies Groningen (GSG)

GSG-REG Roundtable: Memory and the Second World War

10 October 2012
Dr. Vjeran Pavlakovic
Dr. Vjeran Pavlakovic

This lecture examines how various commemorative events have taken on new meanings and significance in post‐communist Croatia and other Yugoslav successor states. Politicized rituals at various “sites of memory” (Pierre Nora’s lieux de mémoire) symbolize the divided social memory and contested histories of World War Two. The nationalization of victims, and the manipulation of the number of victims, particularly at the emotionally powerful sites of Jasenovac and Bleiburg, characterizes the commemorations and debates surrounding them. In the context of Croatia’s painful post‐communist transition, bloody war for independence, and challenging democratization process, World War Two commemorations have been illustrative of how political rituals reflect (as well as influence) Croatian society’s understanding of the recent past and national identity. The challenge for ensuring a stable democracy in Croatia is in building a consensus regarding the past, or at least creating an atmosphere of open dialogue rather than the violence seen throughout the twentieth century.


Dr. Vjeran Pavlakovic (University of Rijeka)

Vjeran Pavlaković is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. He received his PhD in History in 2005 from the University of Washington, and has published articles on the politics of memory, World War Two commemorations, the political impact war of the ICTY, and Yugoslavs in the Spanish Civil War. Recent publications include Twilight of the Revolutionaries: Naši Španci and the End of Yugoslavia (Europe-Asia Studies, 2010), Conflict, Commemorations, and Changing Meanings: The Meštrović Pavilion as a Contested Site of Memory (Tihomir Cipek, ed., Kultura sjećanja 1991, 2011), and “Symbols and the Culture of Memory in Republika Srpska Krajina” forthcoming in Nationalities Papers.

Time and location:

18.00 hr, Van der Leeuwzaal (Academy Building)

Last modified:22 July 2021 12.28 p.m.

More news

  • 12 May 2022

    KNAW appoints two UG professors as members

    The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has appointed Professor Maria Loi and Professor Dirk Slotboom from the Faculty of Science and Engineering as members of the Academy.

  • 15 March 2022

    Vici grants for three UG researchers

    The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded three Vici grants, worth €1.5 million each, to three UG researchers. Prof. J.W Romeijn, Prof. S. Hoekstra, Prof. K.I. Caputi can use this money to develop an innovative line of research and to set up...

  • 20 December 2021

    Enthusiastic convert preaches sustainable business

    Reaching out to sustainable business owners is what Gjalt de Jong is all about. He sees the University as a director of innovation. An independent arbiter who can expedite the shift to a circular economy. To this end, he first needed to change...