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'Victims of Fascism' into 'Jewish Citizens of Socialist Yugoslavia': Politics of Holocaust Commemoration in Early Socialist Yugoslavia, 1945-1952
This presentation traces the shift in commemoration of Jewish suffering during World War II in Yugoslavia, in the period from the end of the war through the early 1950s. Framed by the realities of the early Cold War and Yugoslavia's expulsion from the Stalinist bloc, this period saw a fundamental transformation of the public narrative of Jewish wartime suffering. By examining early Holocaust commemoration efforts by the Federation of Jewish Communities, the central Jewish organization in the country, as well as the political discourse of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the paper will show how this transformation was formulated, pushed, and negotiated by both the Jewish community leaders and the high echelons of the Communist Party. The example of this coalescence of interests at the center of analysis is the two-week series of ceremonies of unveiling of monuments to "Jewish Victims of Fascism" in five Yugoslav cities in the late summer and early fall of 1952.
This event is part of the 17th Annual Holocaust and Genocide Series, 2012-2013