“People of Freedom and Unlimited Movement”: Representations of Roma in Post-Communist Memorial Museums

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

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“People of Freedom and Unlimited Movement”: Representations of Roma in Post-Communist Memorial Museums


  • Ljiljana Radonic Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria


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Abstract:  The “universalization of the Holocaust” and the insistence on Roma rights as an EU accession criteria have changed the memory of the Roma genocide in post-communist countries. This article examines how Roma are represented in post-communist memorial museums which wanted to prove that they correspond with “European memory standards”. The three case studies discussed here are the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, the Jasenovac Memorial Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest. I argue that today Roma are being represented for the first time, but in a stereotypical way and through less prominent means in exhibitions which lack individualizing elements like testimonies, photographs from their life before the persecution or artifacts. This can only partially be explained by the (relative) unavailability of data that is often deplored by researchers of the Roma genocide.

Keywords:  Europeanization; memorial museums; Roma genocide; World War II

Published:   29 September 2015


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v3i5.229


© Ljiljana Radonić. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.