Neither Here Nor There: War Memorial Landscape in Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Emigration, 1914–1939
The emergence and persistence of an internationalist, revolutionary state in Russia after 1917 meant that Russian war memory would differ from that of other combatant nations in the interwar period. In wartime Russia, efforts were made to create a new type of war cemetery that would provide patriotic education and a place for mourning and consolation. In the early Soviet Union, however, political leaders were part of an international movement that negated the tsarist past, and they rejected any commemoration of the First World War. A ‘Russian’ national memorial landscape of war was instead imagined by émigrés in foreign lands. There, Russians recreated the physical and cultural attributes of a Russia-in-exile to maintain a national consciousness and create common connections with non-Russian populations and governments. Russian memorial cemeteries were thus ‘neither here nor there’ as the interwar national memorial landscape became detached from the physical landscape and legal sovereignty of the Russian homeland.