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Swedish Narratives of the Second World War: A European Perspective.

  • Academic Journal
  • Contemporary European History; May2008, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p197-211, 15p
  • AbstractThis paper outlines the dominant post-war narratives of the Second World War in Europe. Drawing from the expanding fields of memory and history, a general pattern in the European interpretations of the war years emerges: whereas the experiences and recollections of the war were narrated within a patriotic framework until the 1980s, a significant shift towards a universalistic interpretation has occurred in the last two decades. Although Sweden's wartime experiences differed profoundly from most other similar countries, it is argued that the transformation of Swedish narratives of the Second World War reflected general European tendencies after 1945. Special attention is paid to the emergence in the 1990s of a universalistic understanding of the war, and how this change interplayed with a more general criticism of the foundations of post-war Swedish society. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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