Justice and Apology in the Aftermath of War and Mass Crime: Contemporary Serbia and the German Model

Dragovic-Soso, Jasna. 2022. Justice and Apology in the Aftermath of War and Mass Crime: Contemporary Serbia and the German Model. History and Memory, 34(1), pp. 69-99. ISSN 0935-560X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

West Germany’s record of dealing with National Socialism is often held up as a model to be emulated by states emerging out of war and mass crimes. This article traces the application of the German model to contemporary Serbia, as represented by the two tropes of “Nuremberg” (justice) and “Willy Brandt’s Kniefall” (apology). It argues that both events were divorced from their own historical circumstances and presented as contemporaneous elements of a model that set unrealistic normative benchmarks when applied to the Serbian national context. Placing Germany’s process of postwar memory construction in a historical and comparative light, rather than viewing it as an ideal-typical model to be emulated, provides a more productive way of analyzing the complexities of national memory processes in post-conflict states.

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Germany, Serbia, post-conflict, transitional justice, apology, Nuremberg, ICTY

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

History > Centre for the Study of the Balkans (CSB)


5 May 2021Accepted
17 March 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

07 Sep 2021 08:24

Last Modified:

23 Mar 2022 17:10

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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