The fragmentation and loss of European memory
The Eurozone crisis, Brexit, and possible disintegration
in Memory and the future of Europe
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Just as the founding of the first European Communities in the 1950s produced a backlash in the 1960s and 1970s, the second phase of integration has also met with resistance. Recent challenges to the classic narrative have taken a number of forms: the desire of the new member-states from East-Central Europe for recognition of their suffering under communism, the growing economic problems brought about by the Eurozone crisis, and the threat of disintegration posed by Brexit. In the case of European expansion, continental institutions and existing member-states were again confronted by conflicting understandings of the European past. In particular, the states of the east have challenged the central place of the Holocaust and the image of Auschwitz in the classic narrative of integration. The combined monetary, banking, and sovereign debt crisis brought on by the Great Recession of 2008 merely reinforced these cleavages. This was followed by the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016 and is further threatened by the rise of populism and the spectre of additional votes to leave the EU. These proximate challenges have been compounded by rise to power of the first generation of European leaders with no personal memories of Europe’s age of total war.

Memory and the future of Europe

Rupture and integration in the wake of total war

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