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Victimhood Nationalism in Contested Memories: National Mourning and Global Accountability

  • Jie-Hyun Lim
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies book series (PMMS)

Abstract

The most frequent misunderstanding of nationalism is that nationalism is national. Nationalism is one of the most peculiar transnational phenomena in that nationalist imagination can be fed only in transnational space. Victimhood nationalism is no exception since victims without perpetrators are unthinkable, and vice versa. The collective dichotomy of victimizers and victims in national terms articulates the transnationality of nationalism. Once inserted into the collective dichotomy of victim-izers and victims, however, victimhood becomes hereditary, in order to consolidate the national collective that binds generations together. The seemingly political production, consumption and distribution of ‘hereditary victimhood’ appears to be national rather than transnational.1 This does not mean, however, that trajectories of victimhood memory are bound within national borders. Rather, contested memories of victim-hood cannot be understood outside a global frame of reference. Memories of victimhood have become more contested with the emergence of ‘new transnational memory communities that appeal to regional connections and shared pasts’ in terms by the editors of this book.

Keywords

Holocaust Survivor Innocent Victim Comfort Woman Public Memory Collective Guilt 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Jie-Hyun Lim 2010

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  • Jie-Hyun Lim

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