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Svetlana Malysheva and Cвeтлaнa Maлышeвa

For several decades, the mass burial practices in Soviet Russia were strongly linked with Soviet ideology and the practices of everyday life. Soviet military and state officials intentionally and unintentionally used mass graves as a political and ideological tool. Soviet Russian and Soviet authorities noted mass graves in documents and in public discourse, and couched them in a “figure of silence.” Places of mass burials were given meaning and characterized as systems of ideological representation and the binary oppositions of “ours” versus “foreign.” This article examines the practice of mass burials from the 1920s to the 1940s and how it shaped and influenced Soviet Russian and Soviet ideological constructs.

Melanie Klinkner

1. Introduction: Transitional Justice and Mass Grave Investigations Depending on political forces, different societies may take differing paths to face human rights’ abuses and war crimes. Responses can broadly be categorised as: ‘to forget and to pardon’; ‘to establish the truth, but to pardon

Jaymelee Kim and Tricia Redeker Hepner

communities as problematic or improper, such as mass graves (single graves with multiple bodies), unmarked burials, marked burials on non-ancestral land, and shallow graves of unknown people killed and left in the bush. It was abundantly clear that, at the micro level, individuals and communities clearly

Natalia Maystorovich Chulio

Since the military uprising in 1936 the Franco dictatorship sought to eradicate and silence various elements within Spanish society. Through the creation of retroactive laws, various political figures and civilians were murdered or experienced extreme repression and surveillance by authorities. This contributed to the silencing of victims preventing dissent. Franco sought to generate a revisionist myth of the failure of the second republic, with all blame for the civil war on the reformist non-traditional elements of society. During this period, hundreds of thousands of people were convicted of political crimes, sentenced to death or placed in various concentration camps in Spain and abroad. I argue that this label continues to inhibit the exhumation of mass graves. This chapter argues that despite the transition to democracy these victims continue to be overlooked and ignored in the nations’ collective memory. While in the last 15 years social activists groups such as ARMH (Association for the Recuperation of Historic Memory) seek to rectify this situation through exhumation of mass graves, they remain unsupported and underfinanced by the state. This chapter considers how exhumation serves as a mechanism to redress the legacy of silence established by the Franco regime and maintained by subsequent Spanish governments. The act of exhuming remains from clandestine graves creates a counter narrative to the dominant discourses of the power elite. However, the discursive historical memory during this period remains a challenge to the continued survival of activist groups exhuming graves. While the recovered remains provide irrefutable proof of the fragility of the victims and violence committed against them, there appears to be a lack of political or social will to assist in recuperating the missing. I ask in this chapter: How can society continue to refute the scientific facts evidenced through the exhumation process and support government policy silencing the voice and rights of these victims?


Zoé de Kerangat

dead on the Francoist side were exhumed and honored directly after the end of the war, as part of the construction of the Francoist rhetoric of martyrdom. 2 However, the thousands of victims of Francoism were left buried in unmarked mass graves across the Spanish territory. These mass graves were


Gary Baines

For some fifteen years scant attention has been paid to South Africa’s Border War and the memories of soldiers who fought therein. Forgotten by the apartheid state, ex-combatants have been marginalised in the new political dispensation. But the recent controversy over the exclusion of the names of SADF soldiers from the Freedom Park memorial wall and the involvement of ex-combatants in violent crimes has received media coverage. The spate of publications and the existence of internet sites that host personal accounts of the war also suggest that there is significant public interest in these matters. And the discovery of mass graves and the questions about the treatment of detainees in SWAPO camps has kept the war in the public eye in Namibia. This paper seeks to explain why the silences existed in the first place and why ex-soldiers are negotiating the meaning of the Border War now.

Freitag, Klaus (Münster)

of present-day T. (formerly Erimocastrum) [1], remnants of the polyandreîon (mass grave) with those who fell in 424 BC at Delium [1] are extant [2]. The city area (survey: [3]) comprised Siphae and Cr...


Michael Humphrey and Estela Valverde

disappeared dead body with new political and legal significance, turning it into “a sort of new scientific memorial relic.” 11 Exhumation viewed through the forensic and human rights lens of transitional justice has “consolidated dead bodies worldwide” as the site to reveal hidden pasts from mass graves. 12

Zsuzsanna Toronyi

in the vicinity of synagogues. The single exception is the place adjacent to the Dohány Synagogue, whose history dates back to the Holocaust period: there are mass graves containing victims of the Shoah who died in the ghetto and now rest in the shade of the weeping mulberry trees and the abundance