Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Cultural Memory of Bleiburg

Original scientific paper

Amra Čusto   ORCID icon ; Institute for the Protection of Cultural- Historical and Natural Heritage in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fulltext: english, pdf (309 KB) pages 111-130 cite

This article provides a preliminary overview of the perceptions of Bleiburg among Croats and Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as its role in the overall construction of cultural memory in this deeply divided post-Yugoslav state. The author explores how the remembrance of the Second World War in socialist Yugoslavia fragmented and was replaced by new, nationalist narratives among Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks. The memory of Bleiburg plays a central role in the victimization narrative among Bosnian Croats, and their political leadership has been deeply involved in the commemorative practices related to the events in May 1945. Bosniaks, while primarily focusing on the continuity with the antifascist Partisan tradition, have increasingly opened up the question of communist crimes such as Bleiburg, albeit through the media and memoirs and not yet systematic academic analysis. The article also examines how the Bleiburg narrative is intertwined into the memory of the war in the 1990s, and more broadly how these memory politics are used by various actors in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s deeply divided society.

Bleiburg; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Second World War; Commemorations; Memory Politics

Hrčak ID: 201786