Document Type

Honors Project


This thesis argues that historical memory plays a crucial role in the politics of nation-building and cultural control, using the context of Czechoslovakia under communism. Combining theoretical approaches drawn from the study of nationalism and memory politics, this thesis examines the power dynamics of glorifying or erasing certain moments in a nation’s past and considers the extent to which history, or a memory of it, defines the national identity. By analyzing the changes in commemoration as Czechoslovakia transitioned into a communist system, the malleability of the past becomes clear, as does the impact of the past upon the present and future. Rhetoric and commemoration of different formative moments of the Czech past demonstrate how the Czechoslovak communist government used historical memory as a political tool to build and rebuild the Czech national identity.

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History Commons



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