Cover Osteuropa 4/2011

In Osteuropa 4/2011

Paradoxes of Memory
On Knowledge and Forgetting

Helmut König

Deutsche Fassung


Forgetting violence and injustice was long seen as a condition for sustainable peace after a war or civil war. But the amnesty clause is only realistic where certain rules of war were upheld or were at least not systematically abused. The First World War already lies beyond its field of application, the National Socialists’ war of annihilation all the more. Wherever people cannot forget, only remembrance remains. Remembrance, however, stands in an indissolub-le and paradoxical relationship with forgetting: only what is previously known – remembered – can actively be forgotten afterwards.

(Osteuropa 4/2011, pp. 43–54)

Read this article's international version:
Paradoxes of memory