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Archive  /  Polish Political Science Yearbook 45 (2016)

Aleksandra Gliszczyńska–Grabiasa
Grażyna Baranowskaa
a  Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland)

The European Court of Human Rights on Nazi and Soviet Past in Central and Eastern Europe

Polish Political Science Yearbook, volume 45 (2016), p. 117–129.


Full paper:

The article demonstrates how references to Nazi and Soviet past are perceived and evaluated by the European Court of Human Rights. Individual cases concerning Holocaust and Nazism, which the Court has examined so far, are compared here to judgments rendered with regard to Communist regime. The article proves that the Court treats more leniently state interference with freedom of expression when memory about Nazism and Holocaust is protected than when a post–Communist state wants to preserve a critical memory about the regime. The authors of the article agree with the attitude of the Court which offers a wide margin of appreciation to states restrictively treating references to Nazism and Holocaust, including comparisons to the Holocaust, Nazism or fascism used as rhetorical devices. At the same time they postulate that other totalitarian systems should be treated by the Court equally.

ECtHR; European Court of Human Rights; ECHR; European Convention on Human Rights; memory laws

  • Handyside v. the United Kingdom, no. 5493/72, judgment of 7 December 1976
  • B.H, M.W, H.P and G.K. v. Austria, no. 12774/87, Commission’s inadmissibility decision of 12 October 1989
  • Nachtmann v. Austria, no. 36773/97, Commission’s inadmissibility decision of 9 September 1998
  • Schimanek v. Austria, no. 32307/96, inadmissibility decision of 1 February 2000
  • Wabl v. Austria, no. 24773/94, judgment of 21 March 2000
  • Garaudy v. France, no. 65831/01, inadmissibility decision of 24 June 2003
  • Scharsach and News Verlagsgesellschaft mBH v. Austria, no. 38384/98, judgment of 13 November 2003
  • Ždanoka v. Latvia, no. 58278/00, judgment of 17 June 2004
  • Partidul Comuniştilor (Nepeceristi) and Ungureanu v. Romania, no. 46626/99, judgment of 3 February 2005
  • Ždanoka v. Latvia, no. 58278/00, Great Chamber judgment of 16 March 2006
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  • Hoffer and Annen v. Germany, no. 397/07 and 2322/07, judgment of 13 January 2011
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  • Sweeney J.A. (2013), The European Court of Human Rights in the Post–Cold War Era: Universality in Transition, New York: Routledge.

Polish Political Science Yearbook
Volume 45 of 2016

Arkadiusz Żukowski


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Joanna Marszałek–Kawa & Patryk Wawrzyński

Significance of the Social Vision of Great People
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Konrad Wyszkowski

Cultural War and Reinventing the Past in Poland and Hungary:
The Politics of Historical Memory in East-Central Europe

Attila Ágh

Securitization of Past: Analysis of the Katyń Issue in the Context of EU Integration
Olga Sebina

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Marcin Czyżniewski

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Thatcherism Rejected: Scottish Political Myth of Margaret Thatcher
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Sites of Memory in Chile and Georgia: Comparative Aspects
Joanna Marszałek–Kawa & Anna Ratke–Majewska

The European Court of Human Rights and Dealing with Nazi and Soviet Past in Central and Eastern Europe: the Special Case of the Holocaust
Aleksandra Gliszczyńska–Grabias & Grażyna Baranowska

Decommunisation of the Public Space in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine
Antonina Kozyrska

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Patryk Wawrzyński & Alicja Stańco–Wawrzyńska


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Lech Wałęsa

The Role of NGOs in the Development of Societies and Overcoming
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Elena V. Kucheryavaya

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Agata Cebera & Aleksander Wróbel

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Paweł Kamiński & Patrycja Rozbicka

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Krystyna Leszczyńska

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of the Polish Local Government Model on the Basis of an Electoral Law and Metropolitan Act

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Shamkhal Abilov & Ismayil Isayev

Ping–Pong Diplomacy and Its Legacy in the United States
Michał Marcin Kobierecki

The American Military Strategy to Combat the ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria: Assumptions, Tactics and Effectiveness
Ewelina Waśko–Owsiejczuk

Member States as Strategy-Maker or Strategy-Taker? Analysing Polish Involvement in the Development of the EU Global Strategy
Monika Sus


Political Dimension of Welsh Identity after Devolution: Fact or Fiction?
Bartłomiej H. Toszek

Right to the City as a New Paradigm
within the Concept of Human Security

Agnieszka Szpak


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Jagoda Wojciechowska


Introducing Polish History to Understand Poland’s Present
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An Alternative for the International Order: The Chinese Perspective
Magdalena Łagiewska

Rebalancing of power. The case of China’s global strategy
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The Polish Perspective on Japanese Politics and Society
Natalia Gburzyńska

The Identity of Security Studies
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Can Poland Respond to the Terrorist Menace?
Alicja Stańco–Wawrzyńska

Europeanization and Poland’s Foreign Policy: the First Decade
Wojciech Michnik

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