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The Historical Reality of Eastern Europe

Written by Timothy Snyder, this article appeared on the first issue of Vol. 29 of the journal East European Politics and Society in February 2009.
 
While the term Eastern Europe gained great currency in Europe and the United States as a result of the cold war, the experiences that made Eastern Europe
different have to do with both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and with their mutual triumph on a certain part of the continent. If this thesis can be defended, it would follow that the term Eastern Europe has a deeper historical significance than is generally accepted, and that certain differences in historical memory in eastern and western Europe transcend the experience of the cold war.

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