History / Transit

20 Lessons from the 20th Century

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.
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Der neue Kreisauer Kreis

Schloss Kreisau

Gerhard Gnauck erzählt, wie eine Witwe aus dem Widerstand und ein DDR-Bürgerrechtler dem Gut des Feldmarschalls Moltke neues Leben einhauchten.
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Jenseits des Traumas.
Überlegungen zur Erinnerungsforschung in der Postmoderne

Die Erinnerungsforschung emanzipiert sich zunehmend von der Nationalgeschichte. In der Folge wird kollektives transnationales Gedächtnis oft mit Trauma gleichgesetzt. Martina Steer zeigt die Konsequenzen dieser Gleichsetzung auf und beleuchtet Perspektiven für einen breiteren Zugang zur Erforschung transnationaler Erinnerung, die nicht auf der Kategorie „Trauma“ basieren.
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The European Union and the Habsburg Monarchy

Europa regina

The Habsburg Monarchy lasted five centuries. It was both solid and flexible; it aroused genuine affection among its citizens. But it vanished in a puff of smoke. Should we expect the European Union, shallow in history and unloved by those it serves, to do better?
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Balancing the Books

West German foreign policy after 1945 was reconciliatory but conducted over the heads of the eastern European populations who had suffered most during the war. Now, Germany can be said to have atoned for its wartime misdemeanours; yet, in the European political climate post-May 2004, eastern European experiences of subjugation are often glossed over. France’s criticism of Poland’s involvement in the occupation of Iraq as knee-jerk pro-Americanism overlooked alliances formed during the Cold War. Meanwhile, Poland’s objection to a museum in Germany commemorating Germans expelled from Poland was interpreted as anger at the violation of a national taboo; the real reason was the Polish belief that Germany istelf had not made corresponding concessions. Timothy Snyder argues that such rifts could be avoided by a version of European history that included both western and eastern experiences. Then, solidarity rather than national prejudice would motivate public opinion on matters of European politics.
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Russia’s Reckoning with Katy?

Why does it matter that the Russian parliament has just declared the Katy? mass murder of 1940 to be a Stalinist crime? Seventy years on, no one doubts the responsibility of Stalin, Beria, and the Soviet NKVD for the murder of about 21,892 Polish citizens in the Katy? Forest and four other sites. Yet, according …
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Lebendige Erinnerung an die Diktatur
Was Europas Süden und Osten gemeinsam haben

Der französische Politikwissenschaftler Maurice Duverger wurde 1951 europaweit durch das „Duverger’sche Gesetz“ bekannt, demzufolge ein System einfacher Mehrheit in Einerwahlkreisen die Herausbildung eines Zweiparteiensystems begünstigt. Zehn Jahre später jedoch veröffentlichte der 1917 geborene Sozialdemokrat ein mit „De la dictature“ betiteltes Buch, in dem er nicht trockene sozialwissenschaftliche Wahlstatistik trieb, sondern einen emotionalen, gar dramatischen Ton …
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The Western Dimension of the Making of Modern Ukraine

In the coming years, analysts of current affairs are certain to examine and debate the “Orange Revolution’s” significance for Ukrainian and more broadly post-Communist politics and societies. Guided by their own views of “2004”, historians will be rethinking and rewriting the history of Ukraine. In so doing, they will remain faithful to a long-established academic tradition: as everybody knows, “1917” inspired generations of scholars, both in Russia and in the West, to search for – and find – in the history of nineteenth-century Russia the origins of the Bolshevik revolution.
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The Burden of History and the Trap of Memory

Erzwungene Wege [“Forced journeys”] is the title of the newly opened exhibition at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on the history of forced migration in Europe. It has been organized by the German League of Expellees, which represents Germans forced to migrate after WWII, and is a step towards the League’s goal to set up a permanent exhibition in the German capital. The exhibition has been the source of ongoing diplomatic conflict between Germany and its eastern neighbours – above all Poland – since the League called on Poland to pay compensation to former German owners of Polish property and even opposed Poland’s accession to the EU. Philipp Ther outlines the background of the historical conflict between Germany and Poland, the reasons behind the paradigm shift from culprit to victim in the German view of its history, and the enduring and very different memory in Poland of the German occupation.
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