Katyn– the Soviet massacre of over 21,000 Polish prisoners in 1940 – has come to be remembered as Stalin’s emblematic mass murder, an event obscured by one of the most extensive cover-ups in history. Yet paradoxically, a majority of its victims perished far from the forest in western Russia that gives the tragedy its name. Their remains lie buried in killing fields throughout Russia, Ukraine and, most likely, Belarus. Today their ghosts haunt the cultural landscape of Eastern Europe.
This book traces the legacy of Katyn through the interconnected memory cultures of seven countries: Belarus, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. It explores the meaning of Katyn as site and symbol, event and idea, fact and crypt. It shows how Katyn both incites nationalist sentiments in Eastern Europe and fosters an emerging cosmopolitan memory of Soviet terror. It also examines the strange impact of the 2010 plane crash that claimed the lives of Poland’s leaders en route to Katyn.Drawing on novels and films, debates and controversies, this book makes the case for a transnational study of cultural memory and navigates a contested past in a region that will define Europe’s future.
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About the Author
Alexander Etkind is Reader in Russian Literature and Cultural History at the University of Cambridge.
Rory Finnin is Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies and Chair of the Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Uilleam Blacker is MAW Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge.
Julie Fedor is MAW Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge.
Simon Lewis is a PHD candidate at the University of Cambridge.
Maria Mälksoo is Senior Researcher at the University of Tartu, Estonia.
Matilda Mroz is Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture at the University of Greenwich.
Table of Contents
Contents List of Contributors Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations List of Figures A Note on Translation and Transliteration Map Timeline Introduction: Remembering Katyn Chapter One: Katyn in Poland Chapter Two: Katyn in Katyn Chapter Three: Katyn in Ukraine Chapter Four: Katyn in Belarus Chapter Five: Katyn in the Baltic States Chapter Six: Katyn in Russia Chapter Seven: Katyn in Katyn Coda: ‘Katyn-2' Bibliography