The Cold War shapes our memory of change and international relations in the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, the politico-ideological lines that divided most of the postwar world into two polarized blocs were drawn so deeply that, more than two decades after the end of that era, Cold War legacies continue to play crucial roles in (re)defining national identities and (re)determining international relations around the globe. Owing to both its peculiar nature and lingering contemporaneity, the Cold War presents certain challenges that set it apart from other more popular or ‘conventional’ subjects for examining war memory and commemoration. Memory studies fixated on the First World War, for instance, can explore ways in which a single event lasting the comparatively short time frame of 1914-18 has been and continues to be remembered. Or studies of phenomena that tend to occur in isolated and typically unrelated cases – acts of genocide, leading examples of sporting triumphs and tragedies, or prominent episodes of terrorism etc. – readily lend themselves to collections of ‘stand-alone’ chapters linked by an overarching theme. By its very definition of being ‘cold’, however, in strict terms the imagined ‘war’ at the centre of this book – a major conflagration, most likely nuclear, between the opposing power blocs – never actually broke out. This means that, on the one hand, it has neither a universally accepted commencement date nor a unanimously acknowledged conclusion (beyond partial agreement that it spanned from the 1940s up to around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of eastern European communism, and dissolution of the erstwhile superpower the Soviet Union). Notwithstanding the heat surrounding several notable flashpoints, on the other hand, its failure ever to become truly ‘hot’ accounts for why the Cold War endured for more or less a half-century. Yet the absence of apocalyptic conflict presents something of an anomaly when it comes to remembering a ‘war’ that, in essence, failed to ever materialize beyond more localized wars and acts of violence. Put another way, if the Cold War is defined as a sustained period in which political and military tensions between the two superpower-led blocs always simmered but never reached boiling point, then what is there left to remember? Indeed, is it even possible to remember something that, viewed a particular way, never actually happened? As

discussed in more detail below, at least one influential memory scholar has argued that the Cold War lends itself to very little – if any at all – memorialization and commemoration. Contrariwise, while acknowledging that to date it has remained a largely fallow field of war memory and commemoration, we argue that the Cold War promises to be increasingly rich terrain for memory scholars in future.1 As a way of signalling wider interest in this emerging topic we offer the present study as the first book-length memory study dedicated to international coverage of Cold War remembrance. No single volume, of course, could possibly cover the subject of Cold War

memory and commemoration in its entirety. It would be folly to attempt such a task, which perhaps explains why existing memory studies have tended to home in on examining specific foci such as events, nations, or themes.2 Whereas this book aims to survey how the Cold War has been and continues to be remembered in a wide range of temporal and topical settings, there are obvious limitations to what can and cannot be covered. Selectivity, then, needs to be recognized – indeed, embraced – as an obvious and unavoidably limiting starting point. What should be included in such a study and what can be overlooked? It is pertinent to add here, too, that historical amnesia – so often a highly politicized and state-sponsored endeavour – plays a crucial role in determining why and how certain episodes or experiences seem to more readily lend themselves to memory at the expense of other apparently less usable aspects of the past.3 Accordingly, the following study is partially influenced by questions concerning why particular facets of the Cold War have emerged more prominently than other less covered themes.4

Ultimately, though, it focuses on acts of remembering rather than spending too much time wondering about what may have been forgotten. In addition to our scholarly, linguistic, and cultural limitations, three key

issues underpinned the reasoning and decision-making behind what to include and exclude. First, what inspired this study? Second, what core questions drive this project? And, finally, what are its chief objectives? Beyond its close linkages to the wider series on Remembering the Modern World, this book was inspired by a curiosity to explore the manifold and often competing ways in which a worldwide struggle like the Cold War is remembered within more localized parameters – hence the book’s subtitle ‘Global Contest and National Stories’. From the outset, it was decided that a ‘broad-brush’ approach would be needed in order to paint as wide a picture as possible. Some basic questions that have fundamentally shaped this work include: how has the Cold War been remembered? When and where, by whom, and, of course, why has this taken place? How the recent past is told and who is doing the telling can be very instructive when it comes to matters such as cultivating ‘collective identity’, myth-making (or debunking), and nation (re)building exercises including the universal principle of national selfdetermination. Remembering is a fluid rather than static activity and so it is imperative to consider how and why some practices change or vanish altogether while others remain more or less the same, thus becoming entrenched

as rites or traditions. What acts of Cold War remembrance have come and gone? What developments are unfolding now? What, most likely, looms on the horizon? Drawing on all these considerations, the following study is especially interested in probing the political, social, cultural, and historical factors that help to account for topical variances and temporal shifts in memorialization and commemoration of the Cold War around the world. Approaching a quarter-century since the end of the Cold War, this work’s main objective is to offer a timely, narrative-driven exploratory account of how this global contest has been and is being remembered under the rubric of localized or national stories. As a survey study, a good deal of this book is innovative synthesis that

necessarily draws on other scholars’ work – even if we regularly differ in our interpretations and conclusions. Whereas standing on the shoulders of others proved to be a favourable vantage point, by no means is it the only locality from which we obtained materials and insight. On the contrary, research conducted specifically for this project has accessed primary sources ranging from commission reports and political speeches through to recent textbooks for school children. Extensive field research was conducted in Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, the United States, and Vietnam, with several interviews conducted with fellow academics, museologists, archaeologists, cultural heritage practitioners, and tour guides along the way.