Mnemonic Reality – Investigating Memory Law’s Impact on Reality and Reality’s Impact on Memory Laws


With disinformation, fake news, and denialism on the rise all over the world, the European Union does not remain immune to historical distortion.

To battle with it, members states have introduced a particular type of legislation which are broadly understood as memory laws. These are legal provisions specifically crafted to protect a certain memory of the past. While present in every EU country, their actual shape differs considerably, however no study has analysed them all. Moreover, research has also not been done so far as to how the normative aspects of memory laws translate into reality and how vice versa reality is reflected in the normative framework.

Our project proposes to rectify this study gap by focusing on Holocaust denial prohibition memory laws. In the first project phase, we intend to prepare a compendium of Holocaust denial bans in all EU members states, and then check their effect on society using online surveys. The second project phase would focus more closely on four EU countries, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal, to investigate the impact of Holocaust denial bans more closely. On this basis, we intend to establish an analytical framework of how the normative framework can reflect deficits in reality.