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12 The Post-Cold War Memory Culture of the Civil War: Old-New 
Patterns and New Approaches

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that the debate on the meaning of the Finnish Civil War is still, despite the temporal distance, lively. It argues that, due to political transformations in Finland, Finnish Civil War has strengthened during the last two decades. The political transition following the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe from 1989 onwards reconstructed memory production in the respective countries. In 1990, historian Jukka-Pekka Pietiäinen wrote in the leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that the turmoil in the Soviet Union had in Finland ushered in a need to rethink and rewrite national history, the year of 1918 included. He contrasted the new situation with the 1980s, when the Civil War seemed to have transformed from a national trauma that aroused strong public emotions into a historical event that could be analyzed objectively.

Keywords: communist regimes; Eastern Europe; Finland; Finnish Civil War; Soviet Union



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