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Möten med krigsgravar i konflikternas periferi. Materialitet och bruk av betydelse

Journal article
Authors Magnus Ljunge
Maria Persson
Published in Primitive tider
Volume 20
Pages 95-110
ISSN 1501-0430
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 95-110
Language sv
Links https://journals.uio.no/index.php/P...
Subject categories Archaeology

Abstract

During the great wars, the remains of hundreds of killed soldiers ended up on Swedish territory. They were either sailors, killed in battles at sea and taken by currents to the Swedish coast, or shot down pilots. When discovered, the remains were buried at local cemeteries. During the 1960s a process of re-burial was initiated, and close to 500 bodies was moved to a cemetery at Kviberg in the city of Gothenburg. Two war cemeteries were created, separating German soldiers from soldiers that served in the Commonwealth. In this paper we address the materiality and spatiality of the two war cemeteries in order to understand how these war graves take part in commemoration practices, and also how they create and manifest post-war narratives of the area of the great wars. Starting at the perceived differences in the setting and design of the two cemeteries, we argue that visitors of the war graves encounter a feeling of being close to global historic events. The war graves materialize abstract narratives of great histories at a micro-level in a place far away from the actual conflicts. Simultaneously, the war graves manifest post-war national identities that has very little to do with the individuals buried in the graves or the geographical context of their setting.

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