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NS-Zwangsarbeit aus sowjetischer Perpektive. Ein Beitrag zur Oral History
Series:  FOKUS, Volume: 8
Author:
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.
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.
Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1855) was the greatest poet of Polish Romanticism and one of the great Romantic poets and intellectuals of the first half of the 19th century in Europe. Through his poetic works as well as through his academic, social and political activities he joined the culture of the Slavic nations of Central-Eastern Europe with that of Western Europe. This selection of 25 poems focuses on those of Mickiewicz’s poems which might be described as metaphysical poems. They are translated into English for the first time. The topics treated in them cover a range of religious, mystical, philosophical, and existential themes, expressed with incredible poetic ingenuity, which invites the reader to juxtapose Mickiewicz with such eminent figures of early European Romanticism as Coleridge, Wordsworth or Novalis and with the American transcendentalists. His poetry and thought, being Christian in the broadest sense, cannot be reduced to a particular religious denomination. The book presents a bilingual edition (Polish-English) with a scholarly introduction, presenting Mickiewicz as a writer in the context of his times, and a concise commentary on the poems. The co-editors of the volume are Jerzy Fiećko, one of the most eminent Mickiewicz scholars in the field, and Mateusz Stróżyński, a translator and an internationally recognized expert in the Platonic tradition and Western mysticism.
The Shipyard Strikes in Poland and the Birth of Solidarność in August 1980
Series:  FOKUS, Volume: 9
Author:
"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.
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
Author:
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.
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.

Abstract

This article combines oral histories with documents from family and public archives to re-assemble fragments of a Tashkent family history, and it uses Bourdieu’s theses on social reproduction and cultural capital to analyze the ways that this family repurposed its status-seeking decisions in changed political circumstances. Beginning with the author’s effort to document an ancestor who served as a shine-keeper, the article explores what became of that religious role as successive generations turned to new sources of cultural capital. Evidence shows the author’s grandmother’s elision of her lineage, simultaneous reinforcement of her traditional social status, and embrace of the role of Soviet teacher and intellectual. Soviet period repression led some families to destroy lineage documents, and to recount the past in selective ways. The author’s research partially reconstructs the strategies of a Tashkent family who transferred, hid, and reconfigured its cultural capital.

In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

Most studies on transitions to democracy focus on macro-level factors, while Przeworski considers people as the most important factor and emphasizes looking at the ruling class and civil society. Softliners within the ruling class may aim to choose to open up the system to increase political stability and ensure the survival of the existing regime. The paper aims to test whether liberalization indeed increases political stability in the Central Asian context. By performing the empirical analyses, one can find out that liberalization results in political stability in Central Asia.

In: Central Asian Affairs
Author:

Abstract

Urban development in contemporary Kazakhstan diverges from official policy and procedure. Through the exploration of a case study in Astana (until recently Nur-Sultan), the capital, this research reveals how activists are organizing to preserve natural space and thwart development. An activist-expert coalition is currently engaged in a drawn-out effort to preserve Small Taldykol, a natural space for recreation and leisure which is part of a lake system within Astana. The proposed plan includes draining this lake, the development of housing complexes, a tourism complex, and an eco-park. Using Miraftab’s invented spaces of participation and Ong’s exceptions to neoliberalism, this research explores how urban activists use the space created by deviations from development policy processes, orchestrated by developers and officials within the city and national government, in Small Taldykol’s development. These exceptions provide an opportunity for activists to organize, engage with other stakeholders, and to impact Small Taldykol’s fate.

In: Central Asian Affairs