Writing serves as a vessel for the containment of traumatic memories, with striking similarities among literary, testimonial, and memorial representations of such experiences. However, the uniqueness of each traumatic event necessitates that they not be compared or conflated, but rather, that the focus be placed on the narrative itself. This paper explores the narration of traumatic experiences, with a particular emphasis on the narratives of women who lived through World War II and the post-war years. Originating from diverse national and social backgrounds, these women chose to transcribe what they believed was too painful to express orally. Some of these accounts exist within archival documents, previously hidden from public view, while others have been published. Narrating trauma involves a delicate negotiation between what is remembered and what is forgotten, past and present, and history and fiction.


Manca G. Renko (ERC Eirene, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana) is a historian and writer, focusing on intellectual, cultural and gender history. Her most recent publications include co-writing Socialist Women and the Great War 1914-21 (Corinne Painter, Ingrid Sharp and Matthew Stibbe, eds., Bloomsbury Academic 2022) and contributing to Texts and Contexts from the History of Feminism and Women’s Rights: East Central Europe (Zsófia Lóránd et. al. eds., CEU Press 2023). She serves as president of the council at the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, is editor-in-chief of Cukr Magazine published by Museum and Galleries of the City of Ljubljana and spends her free time researching emotions and ideologies of popular cultures.