The twentieth century became known as the era of genocides.
However, historians do not yet agree on the use of the category
of genocide for all mass killings in the twentieth century and still
are debating their place in European civilization. My article
focuses on the European lieux de mémoire of the genocides within
the associative framework of the fundamental question about the
material evidence of crime. This framework helps highlight the
limits of universalization in European memory politics. In
understanding them as a dynamically developing social
phenomenon, this article analyses it in two dimensions: the
emergence of the memory of the Holocaust as an archetype of
genocide, and the crimes of Communism as a rival memory
framework in Eastern Europe. In closing, I will return to the
incessant search for the material evidence of genocide. This article
challenges the general concept of the European lieux de mémoire
of the genocide from this point of view as well.