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Forms and Varieties
This innovative book explores the complexities and levels of resistance amongst the populations of Southeastern Europe during the Second World War. It provides a comparative and transnational approach to the histories of different resistance movements in the region, examining the factors that contributed to their emergence and development, their military and political strategies, and the varieties of armed and unarmed resistance in the region. The authors discuss ethical choices, survival strategies, and connections across resistance movements and groups throughout Southeastern Europe. The aim is to show that to properly understand anti-Axis resistance in the region during the Second World War historians must think beyond conventional and traditional national histories that have tended to dominate studies of resistance in the region. And they must also think of anti-Axis resitance as encompassing more than just military forms. The authors are mainly scholars based in the regions in question, many of whom are presenting their original research for the first time to an English language readership. The book includes contributions dealing with Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
NS-Zwangsarbeit aus sowjetischer Perpektive. Ein Beitrag zur Oral History
Series:  FOKUS, Volume: 8
60 Jahre nach Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges beantworten ehemalige sowjetische NS-Zwangsarbeiterinnen und Zwangsarbeiter Fragen zu ihrem erschütternden Schicksal einer doppelten Unrechtserfahrung: schuldlos schuldig unter den Nazis, dann unter den Sowjets. Die Analyse nähert sich aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven diesen einzigartigen Interviews. So wird ersichtlich, wie der diskursive Hintergrund von 60 Jahren Geschichtspolitik die Erinnerungen der „Ostarbeiter“ prägte. Der Genderaspekt stellt besonders die Erfahrungen der Frauen heraus. Es geht aber auch um Emotionen und körperliche Erinnerung. Und zuletzt wird nach den Ressourcen gefragt, die diese Menschen durchhalten ließ. „Stigma und Schweigen“ – der Titel verweist dabei auf ein zentrales Ergebnis der Studie, das eine erschreckende Kontinuität von Sowjetzeiten bis ins heutige Russland aufzeigt.
The Shipyard Strikes in Poland and the Birth of Solidarność in August 1980
Series:  FOKUS, Volume: 9
"Rebellion" is the multi-threaded, fascinating story about a rebellion that changed Poland. It begins when the authorities promised a better life after the bloody suppression of the strike in December 1970. The availability of goods increased, the world seemed closer. Yet rebellion had come. This book provides the reader for the first time with the full story of the Great Strike of August 1980, the center of which was located in the Gdańsk Shipyard. The same slogans and demands, however, were made by protesters in Szczecin, Elbląg, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Silesia and dozens of other places across Poland. The eyes of the world were on Gdańsk, and the agreement signed in the light of the cameras, in which the communist authorities were forced to make concessions, was celebrated by Poles all over the country. From the very beginning, the strike demands were not only a fight for bread, but also a fight for the dignity of the worker. However, the most important thing was the creation of a new community. The authorities had to either yield or call for help from foreign troops and chose a compromise. Many days of negotiations with the strikers resulted in an agreement that started a new chapter in Polish history.
Established in 2010 to meet a growing international interest in Balkan studies, the Balkan Studies Library series publishes high-quality disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on all aspects of the Balkans with a focus on history, politics and culture. The region is defined here as comprising Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the countries of former Yugoslavia, including their imperial Ottoman and Habsburg heritage.

The series publishes monographs, collective volumes, and editions of source materials. Disciplines covered include history, anthropology, archaeology, political science, sociology, legal studies, economy, religion, literary studies, cultural studies, gender studies, film, theatre and media studies, art history, language and linguistics. The editors especially welcome comparative studies, be they comparisons between individual Balkan countries, or of (parts of) the region with other countries and regions. All submissions are subject to anonymous peer review by leading specialists.

Until Volume 27, the series was published by Brill, click here.
The series does not publish conference proceedings.
Regional Perspectives in Global Context
Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on all aspects of Central and Eastern Europe: history, society, politics, economy, religion, culture, literature, languages and gender, with a focus on the region between the Baltic and the Adriatic in local and global context.

Until Volume 9, the series was published by Brill, click here.
Die „Forschungen zur baltischen Geschichte“ sind das führende wissenschaftliche Periodikum mit einem Fokus auf der Geschichte der drei Staaten Estland, Lettland und Litauen. In diesem Heft geht es um die baltischen Archivalien im Geheimen Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Hungerwellen im 17. Jahrhundert und um ideologische Auseinandersetzungen in der deutschsprachigen Presse Est-, Liv- und Kurlands zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts. Drei der Beiträge befassen sich mit der Sowjetzeit und analysieren Stalins Idee der "Selbständigkeit" der Sowjetrepubliken im Jahre 1944, die Deportation von Deutschen aus der Estnischen SSR 1945 sowie die Frage der wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung der Jagd in der Estnischen SSR. Kürzere Beiträge behandeln die Viehhaltung in Reval im 17. Jahrhundert und Witterungsanomalien zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts. Zudem werden neueste Schriften zum estnischen Freiheitskrieg 1918-1920 sowie zum außergewöhnlichen Alltag in der UdSSR besprochen.
The Polish-Ukrainian Conflict 1943–1947
Series:  FOKUS, Volume: 6
This is the first book available in English to comprehensively address the complicated subject of Polish-Ukrainian relations during and immediately after World War II. Polish-Ukrainian relations in the twentieth century are a topic that invariably engages historians, politicians, and public opinion in Poland and Ukraine. Many valuable works have been written on the subject, but many are distorting historical truth and collective memories, sometimes making today’s mutual relations problematic. Grzegorz Motyka’s book is a careful account of the most difficult period in Polish-Ukrainian relations, beginning in 1943 with the start of the Volhynian massacre and ending with the “Vistula” action in 1947. By discussing episodes of common history in an accessible manner, Professor Motyka presents an impartial picture of Polish-Ukrainian relations, devoid of national martyrology. In extremely difficult times, it builds a bridge for mutual understanding across historical divides.


The 1820s and 1830s saw the beginnings of the modern social-scientific study of urban life. In Great Britain and France, these years gave rise to the “Dickensian” anxiety about cities as squalid, disease-infested slums. This article examines how the physical space of St. Petersburg and Moscow was represented during these years by four pioneers of the study of Russian urban society – Vasilii Androssov, Aleksandr Bashutskii, Semen Gaevskii, and Andrei Zablotskii-Desiatovskii. Drawing on ideas and methodologies of Western contemporaries, especially Alexander von Humboldt and the French hygienist Louis-René Villermé, they depicted Russia’s capitals on three spatial scales: that of the individual house or street, the city as a whole, and the entire planet. Rejecting the pessimism of their Western counterparts, they depicted St. Petersburg and Moscow as wholesome cities managed by a wise government and inhabited by a benign population. However, they also argued that the forces driving the development of both cities were partly independent of the imperial state and could only be understood by trained experts. They thereby contributed to the rise of a public opinion engaged in critical discussion about Russian society, and bolstered both Nicholas I’s nationalist ideology of Official Nationality and his government’s cautious efforts at socioeconomic modernization.

In: Russian History
Free access
In: Russian History


This article attempts to analyze the role of the Moscow strel’tsy (musketeer) regiments in the dynastic crisis of 1689, which led Peter I to assume real power in Russia. Contrary to the stereotypical understanding of the strel’tsy as loyal supporters of Sophia, their position was, in fact, more complicated. Fully aware of their mutiny’s futility and having just returned from the unfortunate Crimean campaigns, the strel’tsy hardly sympathized with Sophia, the initiator and culprit of repressive “purges” of the strel’tsy after the uprising of 1682, and generally sought to remain loyal to the authorities while staying within the formal framework of the law. The low level of support for Sophia amidst the strel’tsy forced F. I. Shaklovity, their commanding officer, to resort to a palace conspiracy with plans for regicide based on only 4–5 regiments (out of 26), which, if disclosed, would have made Sophia’s position illegitimate and extremely vulnerable. During the “private” crisis of 1689, assessed by Russian society as a “family quarrel” where a compromise seemed quite achievable, Duma and Moscow officials preferred to remain neutral; as such, the struggle for the capital’s strel’tsy garrison was of key importance. On New Year’s Eve (September 1, 1689), Peter’s supporters reached a turning point, having managed to bring the leadership and delegates of almost all the hesitating strel’tsy regiments to the Troitse-Sergiyev monastery and making public the evidence of a conspiracy to kill the tsar and the patriarch: this gained Peter the backing of Patriarch Joachim’s religious authority.

It was the position of the Moscow strel’tsy that changed during September 1–4. They ultimately sided with Peter, which ensured his victory and the end of the neutrality of officials. However, this emphasized, for the second time in a decade, the humiliating dependence of the authorities, striving for “absolutism”, on the capital’s strel’tsy garrison: this was probably one of the most powerful motivations for their subsequent liquidation.

In: Russian History