Selectivity of memories of WWII in portugal: the role of leisure, education, the arts and the media

H. Sol, MP De Brito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Even though more than seventy-five years have passed since the end of WWII,
its prominence in entertainment media productions along with the global emergence of
memorial markers have contributed to its omnipresence in people’s minds. Nevertheless,
the perception of this historical event is still far from reaching consensus as nations tend
to interpret and remember episodes in accordance with their perspective, thus adding
up to the complexity of WWII and of Holocaust memories. With this in mind, this article
describes the idiosyncrasies of Portugal’s recent tribute and remembrance strategies
for the victims of WWII. The country’s neutral status, along with a set of cultural and
historical specifics, has led to the dissemination of tropes leading to the idea of Portugal
as an inherently tolerant and mild-mannered nation. A perception that is often fostered
by resorting to monuments, museums, tourism and leisure activities. Despite evidence
provided, mostly, by recent academic studies and documentary films, these tropes
continue to fuel Portuguese popular imagination and are still prevalent in some recently
established WWII memory places.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-89
Number of pages14
JournalThe new past
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • post-war narratives
  • refugees
  • Portuguesese exceptionalism
  • national mythologies
  • memorial sites
  • leisure
  • entertainment industry
  • Holocaust


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