This book explores the reinterpretations of Poland’s past which have been undertaken by Polish national and local elites since the fall of communism. It focuses on remembrance practices and traces the de-commemorating of communism to examine the ways in which collective remembering and forgetting shapes present power constellations in Poland and impacts on foreign and domestic policy. The book outlines the detail of the new hegemonic national myths which are being established but also investigates fragmentation and diversification of commemorative practices at the local level that has the most potential to challenge the dominant vision of national Polish identity, historically centred on martyrdom, heroism and independence, as less relevant to Poland’s new aspirations for the future.
Introduction Part 1 1. Poland in Transition and Reckoning with the Past 2. National Mythologies and the Re-shaping of Memorial Landscape 3. European Memory and Common History Projects Part 2 4. Legislating Sites of National Memory 5. Legislating the De-communisation of Public Space 6. The Enduring Legacy of the People’s Republic Part 3 7. Municipalities and the Search for the Local Past 8. Contested Local Past and Fragmented Politics of Memory 9. Monuments, Commemorative Space and Rescaling of Memory Conclusion