This introduction to the special section on memories of 1989 calls for a closer analysis of various ways in which narratives of the democratic breakthrough in East Central Europe develop at the transnational, national, and vernacular levels. The four case studies in this section show that the liberal view of 1989 has been neither institutionalized nor internalized as its most common understanding. Instead, we observe a divergence of interpretations, the replacement of 1989 with other symbolic dates, its non-existence in the working memory of Western Europeans, as well as disappointments, frustrations, or nostalgia for socialism in East Central Europe.
- East Central Europe
- memory studies