What is the difference between N. Sadunaite and A. Snieckus?

Thoughts on the notion of collaboration

Egle Wittig-Marcinkeviciute

The notion “collaborator” is one of the key categories when thinking and speaking about the near past in the countries that suffered from Soviet oppression. It is impossible not to discuss collaboration when trying to draw a distinction from now and before or trying to identify the change of modern make-up of collaboration. The author discusses two main versions of interpreting collaboration: according to one interpretation, as collaborators might be categorized only those having been associated with the KGB – officers and their informers. Others, however, are apt to indicate members of the structures of the Communist party, sometimes to a degree that anyone can be identified if he had a state job or performed. She shows that the notion is much more complicated and thus cannot be classified into two narrow concepts. There were members of the Communist party who performed their official duties and at home taught their kids the history of independent Lithuania. Thus, in order to use this important notion, we should be able to understand that there existed different levels of collaboration, but we must be very precise in order not to abandon this crucial notion as something that does not work any longer.

Published 30 October 2003
Original in English

Contributed by Kulturos barai © Kulturos barai Eurozine

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