In this chapter we go from the historical context and the thematic angles on this past, to the period which followed the end of the regimes. The totalitarian or dictatorial regime leaves many traces behind. Some very large physical monuments, other more subtle street names. What does a society inherit after such a regime is a complicated mess.
This unit has been made by the team working on the project "Silencing Citizens through Censorship. Learning from Europe’s 20th Century Dictatorial and Totalitarian Past”. The project has received funding from the European Union within the framework of Europe for Citizens Programme. The content of this unit reflect only the authors’ views and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
This module is published under the CC BY 4.0 licence.
When a regime comes to an end, there is always an echo. People deal with the past rights and wrongs and there remain traces in culture and society of that same past, a distinct cultural heritage. Some nations wanted to have control of the social life, some went further than others. It could be very extreme, like changing the date system or changing the history books. Some of these policies cast long shadows into the future. Censuring was not only making information disappear but could also promote certain information. Monuments and museums are good examples. What to do with monuments of a past regime? How to bring those that silenced citizens and created the repressive system to justice? In some cases old regime individuals were purged, regardless of their specific roles.