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Die Vergangenheit nationalisieren: Kroatien, Serbien und Bosnien schreiben die gemeinsame Geschichte des Socialistischen Jugoslawien neu

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Translated title of the contributionCreating national pasts: Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia rewrite the shared history of socialist Yugoslavia
The abandonment of Communism in Yugoslavia in 1990 was followed shortly afterwards by the break-up of the Yugoslav federal state and the establishment of new more or less national states out of the formerly federal republics. The establishment of formally democratic nation states led to new demands to history: The class based histories of the Communist period were reputed, and new national histories were to be written. How were these histories to deal with the common Yugoslav socialist past?
This question was often a delicate one, as several of the republics had only distant experiences of independent statehood. The period as fairly independent republics within Yugoslavia therefore constitutes an essential part of their history as states. On the other hand, the new national histories were to contribute to the consolidation of the new states by legitimising both the establishment of new ideological regimes and new national borders. Yugoslavia’s dissolution process was accompanied by years of warfare in various parts of the former federation. Indeed, the replacing of the Yugoslav federation by national states had cost dearly in most post-Yugoslav republics, though in some states much more so than in others. Thus the new histories had to explain a discontinuous and troublesome very recent past.
This article investigates how the common Yugoslav socialist state was represented in the new histories of Croatia, Serbia and, more briefly, Bosnia in the 1990s and early 2000s. The article is based on analyses of schoolbooks of contemporary history and history writing, especially historical syntheses, in Croatia, Serbia and, more briefly, Bosnia. I argue that the early post-Yugoslav representations of Yugoslav history were enveloped in descriptions of internal conflicts, while periods of peaceful coexistence and relative prosperity were downplayed. History writing and education thus contributed to explaining and legitimising the break-up of the Yugoslav federation and to naturalising new national borders.
Original languageGerman
JournalJahrbuch fuer Historische Kommunismusforschung
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
ISSN0944-629X
StatePublished - 2014

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