Chapter

Repossessing the Dead Elsewhere in Our Time

in Digging Up the Dead

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780226423296
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226423326 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226423326.003.0007
Repossessing the Dead Elsewhere in Our Time

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Exhumations and reburials in modern times are pursued due to a variety of reasons, from nationalism in the decade following World War I to the rehabilitation of political reputations as a symptom and symbol of anti-Communist fervor in Eastern Europe after 1989. Another motive is the desire for national unification, whether in China, Argentina, or Germany. Religion remains a major consideration because individuals revered as saintly often require a more appropriate interment than the one originally received. Prominent personalities who have figured in burial/reburial episodes for different reasons include Sun Yat-sen, Juan Manuel de Rosas, Che Guevara, Marcus Reno, Louis Napoleon III, Manfred Baron von Richthofen, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Cecil John Rhodes. This article also looks at exhumations and reburials in Hungary and argues that certain European episodes involved not only national reconciliation and rehabilitation of reputations but also historical revisionism.

Keywords: interment; religion; Hungary; national reconciliation; reputations; historical revisionism; Sun Yat-sen; Juan Manuel de Rosas

Chapter.  12190 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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