The Baltic Region

2013 Issue №3(17)

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Political reconsideration of the Soviet past: attitudes and actions of the Lithuanian elites

DOI
10.5922/2079-8555-2013-3-9
Pages
86-97

Abstract

Different political elite groups of post-communist Lithuania offer different accounts of the Soviet past. Even twenty years later, after the collapse of communism Lithuanian politicians (with the exception of certain conservative anti-nostalgic leaders allied with some populists) still do not have a unified and coherent view on the Soviet political and social practices, truths, and methods. However, conservatives are very consistent in their restrictive views about the past and are willing to engage in propagating decision-making that prevents them from repeating the actions of the past. Social democrats, liberals, and populists are much more internally divided and tend to display lukewarm attitudes towards the Soviet past and its political reconsideration. Yet, the present analysis of the adopted laws and public policies, alongside a study on the attitudes of political elites make it possible to conclude that anti-nostalgia, the negative assessment of the Soviet life-style, criticism of it and attempts to keep the former Soviet decision makers out of Lithuania’s public administration are key ways of treating the past in Lithuania. All efforts to accommodate a more permissive attitude towards the Soviet past and civil servants whose career began under the Soviets do not find much support within the Lithuanian elite.

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