In the course of Europe’s twentieth century, freedoms were won at the cost of terrible sacrifice. The physical remains of war, conflict and ideological struggle lie everywhere around us. The question of what to do with this common past, in which we all share an interest, lies at the centre of this important book. From a variety of professional backgrounds, the contributors consider a wide range of conflict-heritage sites in the context of international and national histories and regional and local historical narratives. Questions of who ‘owns’ the past, the ambiguities over how people identify with the local community or nation state, and whether or how to make moral judgements, are central. The book illustrates the challenges of documenting and describing what are often extensive, contested and sometimes enigmatic and ambiguous buildings and monuments. The priorities of conservation, and how we ensure that documents, artefacts, sites and buildings can be given adequate and appropriate protection and care, are also addressed.
This book will be of interest to a wide range of professional practitioners, academics and policy-makers, as well as the general reader, and will open the way to a deeper understanding of the significance of Europe’s conflict heritage.
'This book provides a chilling reminder of the evidence that total war leaves behind, focusing mainly on conflict landscapes and the surprising amount of material evidence that survives . . The book is exquisitely illustrated and well-referenced, and is really a must-have for anyone interested in this emotive subject.'