3 Pages

Introduction: Contested and Shared Places of Memory. History and Politics in North Eastern Europe

ByJörg Hackmann, Marko Lehti

The events in Tallinn on the night of 26-27 April 2007 have already been deletedfrom the short-term memory of the international media, but Estonians (and not least Estonian scholars) have come to regard the removal of the so-called Bronze Soldier and the accompanying riots, as well as the actions of Putin’s Russia, as a benchmark for Estonia’s future. During the past year several studies scrutinizing the Bronze Soldier case have been published, and more are in progress.1 The debate has not been free from political interests, which minimize the conflict by explaining and interpreting it away on the one hand, and exaggerate it as an example of ethnic Estonian racism and neo-fascism on the other. For many Estonians the whole incident was in the end a disturbing turn in the success story of EU-Estonia, recalling phenomena that they would rather forget and exclude from public debate.