The electoral performance of right-wing populism depends on the type of re-elaboration of countries’ national past and their collective memories. Complementing socio-economic and political-institutional factors, the article analyses cultural opportunity structures. Given the link between fascist and populist visions of power, it shows that different collective memories of the fascist past and World War II open up or close down the space for right-wing populist parties. Theoretically, the typology includes four types of re-elaboration: culpabilisation, victimisation, heroisation and cancellation. Results of a comparative analysis of eight West European countries based on a novel measurement method point to (1) culpabilisation and heroisation as types of re-elaboration limiting right-wing populist parties’ electoral performance, (2) cancellation as a type having an undetermined effect, and (3) victimisation as a type triggering the success of right-wing populist parties.