Post-mortem Stalingrad. Shifting Memoryscapes of the City and the Battle
Convention Panel at the 2015 Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Philadelphia: Fact (19.–22.11.2015)
Organizers: Anastasia Kostetskaya (University of Hawai'i, Manoa) and Matthias Schwartz (ZfL)
Chair: Laura Schlosberg (Claremont Graduate University)
- Nina Tumarkin (Wellesley College): Selling Stalingrad. Volgograd and the Politics of Commemoration
- Anastasia Kostetskaya (University of Hawai'i, Manoa): ›Who needs my testimony?‹ or Children of Stalingrad remember their ›forgotten‹ Childhood
- Ian Garner (University of Toronto): Journalists at Stalingrad. The Genesis of a Myth
Discussant: Matthias Schwartz (Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin, ZfL)
The battle of Stalingrad played a central role for the memory politics during the Cold War both for the Soviet as well as for the Western German side. Whereas in the Soviet Union the siege of Stalingrad was constitutive for the heroic representations of the Soviet Army and its liberation of Eastern Europe, in Germany it was central for the whitewashing myth of the »innocent« Wehrmacht soldiers, who were sent by Hitler into a hopeless war against their own will. Since the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the German reunification these legitimizing narratives have been gradually collapsing. Suppressed memories, concealed documents, forgotten narratives and neglected participants (like the civilian inhabitants of the town) were now taken into account. Simultaneously, the popular myth of »Stalingrad« as one of the cruelest and biggest battles in the history of mankind lives on in video games, movies and novels and shapes globalized imaginations about apocalyptic wars and merciless fighters.
The panel explores these shifting memoryscapes in the historical science, literature, art, film and various online channels. Our goal is to reflect these diverse, heterogenic memoryscapes of Stalingrad, as they connect not only Russian and German memories, but also globalized narratives about Stalingrad across space, time, media and academic disciplines.