"The last twenty years has seen an enormous growth in public interest In thepast: Some would say that this has been generated by the tourism sector todevelop what has become known as the "heritage industry". Museums , visi-tor centers and battlefield sides dealing with war are an important elementin this growth attracting millions of visitors world-wide every year. Butthere is a conflict between the need to present the past in an authentic waywhich reflects the tragedy and horror of past events, and the need to present"entertainment for all the family". This paper looks at the application of the concept of "hot cognitions" to the interpretation of war and conflict, andquestions whether these objectives can be realized. Should heritage inter-pretation move away from concentrating solely on hard information and cog-nitive change, to encouraging and extending people's emotional responses toimportant historical events in a way that may upset or offend ?The paper will also examine the way in which time and a receding past isused to sanitise history and make the past more acceptable. Case studies willinclude the interpretation of Nazi atrocities in France, trench life in theFirst World War as presented in the Imperial War Museum (London) andthe battlefield sites of the Somme, and fascism in 12th century York. Exam-ples from other parts of Europe will also be discussed."