De Europese toekomst van het verleden. Europese eenheidspolitiek in het herdenken en herinneren van de Tweede Wereldoorlog.
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This thesis is a critical examination of the European cultural policy of World War II remembrance. The European Union has been actively incorporating the idea of a European identity in their cultural policy since 1973. The remembrance of World War II has been one of the main focus points in carrying out the idea of a shared European identity. The discourse this policy is based upon the idea of ‘unity in diversity’. This is the idea that all European Member States have their own national cultural identity and history but also share overall similarities like freedom and democracy. In this research it is examined how this discourse of ‘unity in diversity’ is played out in the remembrance culture of the European Member States the Netherlands, Germany and Poland on the base of nine case studies. These are a former concentration camp, a remembrance ceremony and a remembrance monument for each of the countries. This thesis argues that the cultural policy of the European Union, when it comes to World War II remembrance, is to oriented on the Western Member States. The remembrance culture of in particular Eastern Member States is excluded in the ‘European’ remembrance culture. The European Union tries to legitimize and promote their idea of European culture with grants and a too constructivistic and artificial idea of what European culture and identity should look like.