In its common usage, the expression "collective memory" suggests a consensus. And yet, the social construction of "realities of the past" is frequently a site of intense conflict and debate. Area of inquiry that could serve to illuminate the differences between ideologically grounded memory conflicts and those implicating the-past-as-sacred is the still much to be explored history of dissidence in the countries under Communist rule. The open, public and, one should add, recorded disagreements retain their utility value, but are now made to acquire specificity vis-a-vis other expressions of conflict. The public disputes, more often than not, challenge the established wisdom, by critically exposing it as well as crystallizing the alternatives. While totalitarian states are an extreme case of silencing the private sphere, theirs is not a unique monopoly on public discourse. Tracing the vicissitudes of conflict over time implicates primarily questions about such public articulation—its forms, channels, intensity, or periodic disappearances.