Matej Kralj: Europe Instead of Socialism – Strategies to Deal with the Socialist Past in Slovenia

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2014. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 63–75.

After the independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 three fundamental strategies can be observed in Slovene historiography and political debates. Firstly, the early years are characterized by an anti-communist discourse; its political function was the affirmation of the new state and its chosen European path. This caused some historical facts to be forgotten, such as the role the reformed communists played in the democratization process. (2) Since mid-1990s a new strategy manifested itself, which acknowledged positive aspects of Yugoslavia, e.g. the successful anti-fascist partisan battle in WW2. (3) In 2004, after successful integration within the EU, tendencies of the anti-communist phase returned and intertwined with the European anti-totalitarian politics of remembrance. Again historical characteristics are ignored, primarily the fact that Yugoslavia does not meet the criteria of a totalitarian state. The conflict between left and right historians, between reformed communists and the new conservative parties continues today. To achieve a less ideological debate Slovene historiography must find a cohesive interpretation of the socialist past in Slovene history.

Über den Autor

Matej Kralj, Dipl.-Soz., geb. 1980 in Maribor/Slowenien, 1999–2006 Studium der Soziologie in Slowenien und Deutschland. 2006–2008 Referent der Botschaft der Republik Slowenien in Berlin während der Trio-Ratspräsidentschaft der EU. Seit 2008 Promotion zum Wandel der Wahrnehmung von politischen Räumen im slowenischen Postsozialismus, Universität Erfurt, Mitglied der Forschungsgruppe Offenes Europa, Erhalt des Martin-Wieland-Stipendiums. Veröffentlichungen: »Schnell unter Europas Schirm – Vor 20 Jahren wurde Slowenien unabhängig«, in: Berliner Zeitung vom 25. Juni 2011; »Abtreibung des Sozialismus: Die Identitätsfindung im slowenischen Verfassungsdiskurs«, JOE-Tagungsreader 2009, (= Arbeitspapier 104 der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa der Universität Bremen).