“Simply a little piece of GDR history”? The Role of Memorialization in Post-Socialist Transitional Justice in Germany

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Focusing on the Berlin Stasi prison memorial, Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, this article considers the role that memorialization might play in transitional justice as a form of symbolic reparation situated between vengeance and forgiveness. Through narrative analysis of interviews with former political prisoners, it traces the importance of memorialization for victims of human rights abuses in terms of a personal and collective coming to terms with the past. It connects understandings of transitional justice with social and cultural memory studies and demonstrates the dynamic interaction between different levels of memory that can take place at sites of conscience.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-181
Number of pages28
JournalHistory & Memory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015