Cultural Memory on "Great" People in a "Small" Town: The Perception of King Alexander Karađorđević and Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the Cultural Memory of Samobor

  • Danijel Vojak The Institute of Social Sciences “Ivo Pilar”, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Filip Tomić The Institute of Social Sciences “Ivo Pilar”, Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract

Starting from the thesis that ''history is written by the winners”, ''mainstream'' history can be under¬stood as the revised and politically instrumentalized means of a certain nation's ''cultural'' memory, which some consider to be a ''history of selective memo¬ri¬zation and selective forgetfulness''. Most approaches in con¬temporary Croatian historiography which are focu¬sed on the historical periods of monarchist and socialist Yugoslavia use national-level themes as their starting point. A similar preoccupation is also present in those historiographical approaches which are focused on the problems of analyzing and understanding how collective memories are constructed. However, our aim here is to move from the ''big'' themes to a ''small'' (local) setting. In this context, Samobor, a small Croatian urban centre, is going to serve us as the basis for analyzing in which way two Yugoslav rulers – King Alexander Karađorđević and Marshal Josip Broz Tito – were perceived on the local level. By analyzing the relevant archival sources as well as contemporary periodicals, we seek to un¬der¬stand the ways in which local authorities and elites, from their position of social power and status, received the mentioned rulers during their visits, and in which ways did they honour and commemorate these high-profile guests. Through this analysis, we hope to gain a better understanding of the process of the creation of local social memory, the constitution of memorial and cul¬tural patterns, and their key cultural elements and me¬anings, which are often torn apart during periods of social and political upheaval, only to be reconstituted by recombining the same key cultural and social elements while simultaneously encompassing new actors. In other words, the focus of our analysis will be on tracing the collective memory of the population of Samobor to¬wards two ''great leaders''. Starting from the thesis that ''history is written by the winners”, ''mainstream'' history can be understood as the revised and politically instrumentalized means of a certain nation's ''cultural'' memory, which some consider to be a ''history of selective memorization and selective forgetfulness''. Most approaches in contemporary Croatian historiography which are focused on the historical periods of monarchist and socialist Yugoslavia use national-level themes as their starting point. A similar preoccupation is also present in those historiographical approaches which are focused on the problems of analyzing and understanding how collective memories are constructed. However, our aim here is to move from the ''big'' themes to a ''small'' (local) setting. In this context, Samobor, a small Croatian urban centre, is going to serve us as the basis for analyzing in which way two Yugoslav rulers – King Alexander Karađorđević and Marshal Josip Broz Tito – were perceived on the local level. By analyzing the relevant archival sources as well as contemporary periodicals, we seek to understand the ways in which local authorities and elites, from their position of social power and status, received the mentioned rulers during their visits, and in which ways did they honour and commemorate these high-profile guests. Through this analysis, we hope to gain a better understanding of the process of the creation of local social memory, the constitution of memorial and cultural patterns, and their key cultural elements and meanings, which are often torn apart during periods of social and political upheaval, only to be reconstituted by recombining the same key cultural and social elements while simultaneously encompassing new actors. In other words, the focus of our analysis will be on tracing the collective memory of the population of Samobor towards two ''great leaders''.

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Published
2015-08-01
How to Cite
VOJAK, Danijel; TOMIĆ, Filip. Cultural Memory on "Great" People in a "Small" Town: The Perception of King Alexander Karađorđević and Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the Cultural Memory of Samobor. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], n. 9, p. 29-38, aug. 2015. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/130>. Date accessed: 19 june 2018.
Section
English Articles

Keywords

Samobor, cultural memory, “great people”, Alexander Karađorđević, Josip Broz Tito