Between myths, memories, history, and politics

Jonathan Dekel-Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This essay aims to share with the readers of The Public Historian some of the challenges, thoughts, and conclusions that I encountered as a historian during the planning and execution of content for the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. As the essay illustrates, this extraordinary project sat at the intersection of a troubled history, widely divergent popular memories and national narratives, and divisive contemporary politics. The essay’s possible uses are twofold: first, it offers insight for professionals into the intricacies of creating a large-scale, historically accurate museum in a complex political environment in today’s Russia; second, it may help give some guidance to historians who find themselves in similar scenarios.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalPublic Historian
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The Regents of the University of California and the National Council on Public History. All rights reserved.


  • Eastern European history
  • Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
  • National narratives
  • Popular memory
  • Russia


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