This monthly documentary series examines how formerly communist-controlled countries both remember and make use of the past. Each episode examines the contradictions that exist between active, or current, memories of controversial events and those memories that governments and others choose to conceal. From the Nazi siege of Leningrad to Soviet republics' declarations of independence, Active Memory broadens the information available to viewers so that they can decide for themselves what is the real truth about their past.
Episode 1: The Leningrad Siege
Nazi Germany’s 1941-1944 siege of Leningrad is one of the murkiest tragedies of World War II. In both Russia and the Soviet Union, state propaganda has concealed the exact number of casualties and other details about what happened and why. The Russian city of St. Petersburg, modern-day Leningrad, still has no museum dedicated to this event, one of the most horrific in Russian history. For unknown reasons, officials have blocked attempts to create such a museum.