Browse results

Summary

This article addresses the activity of a particular network of Belarusians, active during the Second World War and in the postwar period. It explores their involvement in anti-Soviet activity, first through their collaboration with the Germans and later with the Americans. The setting for this activity is Belarus proper, as well as Germany, Belgium, and the United States. While the numbers of those involved is difficult to ascertain, the network spanned various countries. Ultimately, this article highlights the way in which these individuals utilized their participation in anti-Soviet activity as a means of acquiring certain benefits and how they continued to strive for the creation of an independent Belarus.

In: Violent Resistance
Author: Roland Clark

Summary

Scores of armed resistance groups formed in the wake of General Ion Antonescu’s resignation as the ruler of Romania on 23 August 1944 and the gradual establishment of Communist rule. Although the most famous of these groups were tightly coordinated bands firmly ensconced in the mountains under the leadership of charismatic individuals such as Ion Gavrilă-Ogoranu and Toma Arnăuțoiu, the majority were small, loosely-organized networks of people who took up arms for a variety of reasons, including out of fear that they would be targeted by the communists because of their fascist pasts. National Liberals and Peasantists were reluctant to join forces with former legionaries even though they were happy to cooperate with antisemites who had been affiliated with other extremist right-wing parties such as the National Christian Party. For others, being a legionary was the epitome of what it meant to be anti-communist. This chapter examines how the myth of the Legion shaped armed resistance to the Romanian Communist Party during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It argues that reframing memories of the Legion for a Cold War audience shaped armed resistance in significant ways, from alienating potential collaborators to forcing people into resistance out of fear of reprisals for their past affiliations and motiving young people who needed an ideology they could appropriate.

In: Violent Resistance
Author: Stevan Bozanich

Summary

This article discusses the creation of the Yugoslav state security OZNa-UDBa by the Communist Partisans of Josip Broz ‘Tito’. Gaining the upper hand in the Yugoslav civil war of 1941–1945, OZNa-UDBa learned from its wartime experiences to successfully function well into the postwar period. The organisation was so successful that it needed to conjure up enemies of the state in order to remain viable. Eventually, the hubris adopted by the agents of OZNa-UDBa caught up to the security agency and killed it along with the state it protected.

In: Violent Resistance
In: Violent Resistance
Author: Adam Zítek

Summary

The history of the Czech minority in Volhynia can be traced back to the late 19th century. The Czech emigrants who lived there for decades suffered not only during two world wars but also under the Soviet system and as a result of communist policies. They returned to their homeland after the Second World War, but in left-wing-orientated Czechoslovakia their stories of life in the USSR were given little credence. Their open hostility to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia soon escalated into a conflict. When the communists took over power completely in February 1948 some Volhynian Czechs participated in the organised opposition to one-party rule. However, despite their experience and fighting tradition and some evidence of potential open opposition, especially before the coup d’état of February 1948, this never developed into large-scale resistance.

In: Violent Resistance
Author: Ioana Ursu

Summary

Anti-communist armed resistance in Romania consisted of more than 60 groups spread across the country, most of which retreated to the mountains to actively fight against the regime and hide from the Secret Police. Two of the groups that developed armed resistance were based in the Banat and the Făgăraș Mountains in Southwestern and Central Romania, respectively.

The stories of these two groups present both similarities and differences, related to the ability of their members to act, the ultimate objective and method of their resistance and their recipe for survival. Both groups were provided with food and clothing by relatives (wives and sisters) and, in some exceptional cases, women even followed their men into the mountains. However, the rift between the resistance fighters and their neighbours in the local villages caused by their views on communism and their attitude to the authorities ultimately led to acts of betrayal, even between relatives and friends.

Hence, the history of anti-communist resistance is one of two opposing communities that co-existed in Romanian mountain villages between the late 1940s and the mid-1950s: one that disapproved of communism and fought against it by supporting the armed resistance and one that actively sought to capture resistance fighters and deliver them to the Secret Police. Both the archives and oral history interviews show that the Securitate invested large resources in capturing members of the anti-communist resistance. Not only did they blackmail villagers but they also bought their support by promising favours in exchange for information or betrayal.

Members of the resistance were, eventually, captured, imprisoned and, mostly, executed. Their wives were also arrested, leading to family traumas and deep divisions. The schism that was created between villagers – between supporters and opponents of the resistance – remained for many years. Upon their release from prison, former supporters of the resistance returned to a home that no longer wanted them and was populated by neighbours who had betrayed them.

On the basis of interviews from the archive of the Oral History Institute in Cluj-Napoca as well as documents from the Securitate archives, this paper examines the role of women in supporting the anti-communist resistance by comparing the Banat and Făgăraș groups. It will then go on to highlight the objectives and motives of the resistance.

In: Violent Resistance
Eine Stoffgeschichte der Kulturpflanze Raps (1897–2017)
Was 1897 auf einer kleinen Ostseeinsel seinen Anfang nahm, ist heute allgegenwärtig: als wogende gelbe Felder, als Biosprit und als gesundes Speiseöl. Raps –kaum eine andere Pflanze ist so sehr mit der deutschen Geschichte im 20. Jahrhundert verwoben.
Der Weg der Kulturpflanze führt von der Liebhaberei eines Pflanzenzüchters über die Ersatzstoffkultur in der Zeit der Weltkriege und die Agrarrevolution der Nachkriegszeit bis zum Rapsboom im Zeichen der Energiewende. Zugleich war Raps Teil der deutsch-deutschen Nachkriegsgeschichte. Den modernen Raps gab es als Diskursprodukt, bevor er als pflanzliche Realität existierte. Züchterische Leistungen verbanden sich mit einem Wechselspiel in einem breiten Kreis von Akteuren, der Landwirte und Konsumenten ebenso umfasste wie Wissenschaftler und Agrarpolitiker. Damit zeigt das Buch zugleich Perspektiven einer Stoffgeschichte, die nicht nur an der Oberfläche des Materiellen verharrt.
In: Wie Demokratien enden
In: Wie Demokratien enden