Divided Memories for a United Europe? The European Capitals of Culture and the Search for European Unity
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How does the memory of the Second World War and its aftermath affect the formation of a common European Identity? Can "Europe" construct a WE-identity based on a "founding myth", such as the Holocaust, or should we seek another way to transcend the mental and physical national barriers? The following thesis focuses on the post-War era, and specifically on how WWII was "interpreted/narrated" in different temporal and spatial "European" circumstances, in order to indicate that a "homogenizing" founding myth might have a dividing, rather than a unifying outcome, on the European continent. It suggests that the concept of "unity in diversity" might be a more fruitful approach at the moment, and it proposes that the institution of the "European Capital of Culture" can be an excellent starting point to bridge the national gaps by"naturally" bringing the peoples of Europe closer to each other because it creates a WE-identity by combining both top-down and bottom-up approaches.