Translating Memories Speaker Series: Ilya Lensky

Ilya Lensky, Museum “Jews in Latvia”, Riga, Latvia
Holocaust Remembrance in Latvia Since 1988: Actors, Stories, Perspectives

4 May 2023, 14.15 in M213 and online
Tallinn University, Uus-Sadam 5
Please register here

Holocaust commemoration has started in Latvia immediately after the WWII, but under Soviets it has been largely inofficial, or strictly regulated by the state-imposed constraints. With the beginning of Latvia’s national movement for independance, and reestablishement of Jewish community life, Holocaust topic started more and more appearing in the public space. Jewish community members, as well as non-Jewish historians and memory activists would be organizing ceremonies, installing memorial signs, publishing articles and books.
This trend continued all through 1990s, with the major changes occuring after 1998, when Presidential Comission of Historians undertook the duty of comprehensive research of Holocaust in Latvia. This period saw also the construction of major Holocaust memorials and demarcation of Holocaust sites, often with foreign financial support. Situation has been developing in 2010s, with new/young generation developing new approaches to commemoration, sometimes developing under influence of practices, “spotted” abroad, and also basing their strive for memory more on popular culture and previous research, than on direct family or communal memory.
In our lecture we will explore different stories of commemoration, trying to outline major trends, and discussing the possible perspectives.

Ilya Lensky is the Director of the Museum “Jews in Latvia”, Riga, Latvia

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