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Tr@nsit Online

Tr@nsit was the online sister journal of Transit, published until 2017. Here, authors, fellows and friends of the IWM offered further articles, reflections and comments related to ongoing research and debates at the Institute.

After the Fall of the Berlin Wall: New Tensions between North and South in Europe – and New Opportunities

Author: Wolf Lepenies
In the murderous 20th century that experienced two world wars, the Holocaust, and the threat of atomic annihilation, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a rare moment of happiness. In hindsight, November 9, 1989 and October 3, 1990 (the day of German re-unification) merge into one and the same single event. Twenty-five years ago, things were more complicated.

Der ungarische Medienkrieg

Author: Elemér Hankiss (translated by Andrea Marenzeller)
Glauben Sie mir nicht. Dies ist ein sehr persönlicher und einseitiger Bericht. Über einen unblutigen Krieg, der allen eine Lehre sein kann, die sich für die Nöte einer jungen Demokratie interessieren. Und für den Spaß, den man beim Aufbau einer Demokratie haben kann.

Kharkiv Talks in a Viennese Kitchen – On Revolution, War and Literature in Ukraine

Author: Tatiana Zhurzhenko (Translated by Irena Maryniak), Zaven Bablovan
Kharkiv-based translator Zaven Babloyan is executive director of the Oko publishing house. He was born in Moscow and spent his childhood and teenage years in Luhansk and in Shchastia, a town in the Luhansk region that has recently featured prominently in news bulletins from the war zone. He studied physics at the University of Kharkiv, but turned to the humanities while he was still a student. Babloyan has been a translator, literary editor and publisher for over twenty years.

Lost Momentum: The European Union in 2011

Author: Charles Gati
Twenty five years ago, when I crossed the border from Austria to Czechoslovakia, I was taken off of a train there and questioned by Czechoslovak cops for an hour. My wife and children were still on the train. It was a scary experience. In March this year, I drove from Bratislava to the Vienna airport. I couldn’t easily tell where the border was or where the border guards used to be.

Luhansk: The case of a failed cultural revolution

Author: Konstantin Skorkin
In 2013, the seemingly hopeless task of bringing art to the provinces finally started to bear fruit in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. One year on, the activists, artists, journalists and writers responsible are exiles in their own country, writes Konstantin Skorkin.

Erfahrungswandel ohne Methodenwechsel? Zum „Methodennationalismus” der deutschen Rezeption von Timothy Snyders „Bloodlands”

Author: Sebastian Huhnholz
Timothy Snyders international hoch gelobte Arbeit Bloodlands schraffierte den gemeinsamen räumlichen Einzugsbereich der nationalsozialistischen und der stalinistischen Massenmorde. Von einer prominenten Reihe deutscher Historikerinnen und Historiker ist sie dafür heftig kritisiert worden. Diese Kritik nahm wiederum Sebastian Huhnholz in einem jüngst unter dem Titel „Deutschsowjetische Bloodlands?“ vom Journal of Modern European History (vol. 12, nr. 4, 2014) publizierten Artikel zum Anlass, die Historikerkritik an Snyder aus einer politikwissenschaftlichen Perspektive methodologisch zu hinterfragen.

Wir waren auf die Freiheit nicht vorbereitet. Endre Bojtár, ungarischer Intellektueller und Aufklärer

Author: Rudolf Stamm
Endre Bojtár, Jahrgang 1940, wohnt seit seiner Heirat im vierten Stock eines älteren Miethauses mit den ortstypischen Pawlatschen. Der Name der Strasse hat nach 1989 gewechselt, das Quartier hinter den grossen Markthallen in der Franzenstadt ist durch die Fassadenreinigung merklich schöner geworden; das Angebot auf dem Markt ist um viele Importprodukte reicher. Kleine Kneipen, Cafés und Geschäfte geben den einstmals grauen und monotonen Strassenzügen heute ein angenehmes Cachet, ohne dass man sich bereits in der touristischen Zone befände. Wo die Altwohnungen nicht saniert werden können, werden sie niedergerissen. Gelegentlich entstehen hektargrosse Freiflächen.

Ukraine 1989: The Blessing of Ignorance

What Ukraine badly needs is a compromise of strategic character around identity issues but against the background of ambivalence that has characterized the public mood since the late 1980s, Yaroslav Hrytsak wonders whether any attempts “to make things clear” would not only destabilize the Ukrainian situation even further.

Reflections on the Peaceful Revolutions in Eastern Europe: How Berlin and Prague Celebrated the 20th Anniversary of 1989

Author: Tereza Novotna
Tereza Novotna contrasts the different approaches taken by the Czech Republic and Germany to commemorating the fall of communism and reflects on how these differences illustrate the experiences of those who lived through it.

How Did the 2008 Economic Crisis Affect Social and Political Solidarity in Europe?

Author: Jennifer Hochschild
One possible outcome of the economic crash of 2008 was that the majority or mainstream members of a society would direct their anger and fear against the minority or marginal members of their society. Commentators on television or the radio would claim, “it’s all the fault of the immigrants!” or “if we didn’t hand over so much of our tax dollars to the poor, the economy would not have deteriorated so much,” or “social benefits to African Americans [or German Turks] have distorted the housing market.” Citizens would come to believe these assertions, politicians would echo them – and the upshot would be not only a deteriorating national and international economy but also increased hostility and fear among racial, ethnic, or nationality groups in a country. Social solidarity would decline, perhaps irrevocably.

Equally Criminal? Totalitarian Experience and European Memory

Author: Claus Leggewie (translated by Simon Garnett)
Instead of dwelling upon the catastrophes of the twentieth century, many Europeans ask if we should not thoughtfully “forget” them. However, the endurance of historical memory in the united Europe is demonstrated by contemporary political differences between European member states, which can be dealt with only if a European memory is developed. The difficulty here lies in paying due respect to the memory of the crimes both of National Socialism and of Soviet totalitarianism while avoiding a hierarchy of competing victim groups.

Workers in and after the “Worker’s State”

Author: Mladen Lazic
Mladen Lazic asks: how have the processes of systemic transformation in Serbia and Croatia affected the lives and livelihoods of workers? Has the postcommunist abandonment of the "worker's state" led to social change? And how has this change affected the speed of systemic transformation.