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Seit 2006 geben Mati Laur (Universität Tartu) und Karsten Brüggemann (Universität Tallinn) in enger Kooperation mit Kollegen der Universität Lettlands in Riga ein deutschsprachiges Jahrbuch heraus, das aktuelle Forschungen zur baltischen Geschichte veröffentlicht. Die FzbG sind eine vorrezensierte wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der estnischen Akademischen Historischen Gesellschaft (Akadeemiline ajalooselts). Sie verstehen sich als ein akademisches Journal im Bereich der historischen Area studies, die es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht hat, den Austausch verschiedener nationaler Historiografien auf wissenschaftlicher Grundlage zu betreiben. Über den jeweils engen sprachlichen Rahmen der einzelnen Staaten Estland, Lettland und Litauen hinaus soll nicht zuletzt die innerbaltische fachliche Kommunikation gefördert werden. Die FzbG pflegen einen regionalen Schwerpunkt auf dem „historischen“ Baltikum (Estland, Livland und Kurland, d.h. ungefähr die heutigen Republiken Estland und Lettland), doch sind auch Beiträge zur litauischen Geschichte willkommen, da Litauen spätestens seit dem 20. Jahrhundert einen integralen Bestandteil „baltischer“ Geschichte bildet. Der zeitliche Rahmen der Artikel reicht aber von der Frühzeit bis zur post-sowjetischen Periode. Wir sind darüber hinaus insbesondere an Beiträgen interessiert, die sich mit den überregionalen Zusammenhängen in Nordosteuropa auseinandersetzen. Die Sprachen dieser Zeitschrift sind Deutsch und Englisch mit Zusammenfassungen in der jeweils anderen Sprache. Dass die meisten Beiträge auf Deutsch publiziert werden, folgt einer historischen Tradition, da ein Großteil sowohl des Quellenbestands als auch der Historiografie zum historischen Baltikum deutschsprachig ist. Die Herausgeber halten die Heranziehung von Fachleuten aus den Nachbarländern und anderen nicht-baltischen Staaten für eine ihrer wichtigsten Aufgaben, wofür auch das internationale Redaktionskollegium steht. Dabei ist vor allem an den umfangreichen Rezensionsteil gedacht, der über die wichtigsten neuesten Publikationen zur baltischen Geschichte informieren soll. Die mittlerweile erschienenen Bände demonstrieren, dass „baltische Geschichte“ heute einen wesentlichen regionalen Aspekt der Geschichte des Ostseeraums und damit ganz Europas (inkl. Russlands) darstellt. In den ersten zehn Jahren ihres Bestehens haben die FzbG Beiträge von Autorinnen und Autoren aus den drei baltischen Staaten, Deutschland, der Russländischen Föderation, Finnland, Schweden, Dänemark, Österreich, den Niederlanden, Italien, den USA und Kanada publizieren können. In diesem Sinne sieht sich die Redaktion in einem wachsenden internationalen Resonanzrahmen. Mati Laur (Tartu University) and Karsten Brüggemann (Tallinn University) in close cooperation with colleagues from the University of Latvia in Riga have been editing a German-language yearbook presenting fresh studies on the history of the Baltic states. “Forschungen zur baltischen Geschichte” (Studies on Baltic History, FzbG) since 2006. The Studies on Baltic History (FzbG) is a peer-reviewed academic journal of the Estonian Historical Academic Society (Akadeemiline ajalooselts). They see themselves as an academic journal in the field of historical area studies that wants to encourage the scientifically-based exchange between the various national historiographies. Transgressing the small respective linguistic spheres of the nation states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the FzbG wants to contribute to the inner-Baltic professional discussion about the past. The regional focus of the journal lies in the historical Baltikum, the former Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire (Estland, Livland and Kurland, roughly the modern states of Estonia and Latvia), but contributions to Lithuanian history are also welcome because since the 20th century Lithuania forms an integral part of “Baltic” history. The time frame of articles published in FzbG, however, ranges from prehistory to the post-Soviet period. Moreover, we encourage in particular contributions that deal with the transregional interconnections in the broader geographical area of North-Eastern Europe. This journal publishes texts in German and English with summaries, respectively, in English and German. The majority of articles are published in German, in which we follow the historical tradition since a major part of the archival sources and the older historiography about the Baltikum is in German. The main task of the editors and the international editorial board is the involvement of experts from neighbouring and other non-Baltic countries. This is especially true for the extensive section of reviews informing about the latest publications on Baltic history. So far the published volumes of FzbG demonstrates quite successfully that the history of the Baltic states today is an important aspect of the past of the Baltic Sea area and thus the whole of Europe including Russia. During the first ten years of its existence, FzbG enjoyed the participation of authors from the three Baltic States, Germany, Russian Federation, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, USA and Canada. In this understanding, the editors see themselves corresponding to a growing international resonance space.
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.

The article discusses the activities during the period of late Stalinism of Justas Paleckis, the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Soviet Lithuania. The paper puts forward the premise that from 1944 to 1953, Paleckis balanced between indigenous (local) communism and attitudes characteristic of some Central European national communists. To be more precise, he tried to emphasise the specifics of the historical development of Lithuania, and its differences from other Soviet republics, in which the formation of the Soviet regime started earlier. According to him, its tradition of statehood made Lithuania a unique republic, and this circumstance should be taken into account when making Lithuania Soviet. Paleckis was convinced that in order to make Soviet rule more attractive to the Lithuanians, it was necessary to cooperate with the nation’s cultural elite, that is, with the interwar Lithuanian intelligentsia. In his writings and speeches, he tried to merge organically the liberation of the Lithuanian nation from the ‘yoke’ of the exploiters, with the no less important liberation from the ‘national yoke’ or national revival of the Lithuanians. Social and national ‘liberation’, according to him, was crowned with the establishment of the socialist order in Lithuania. This ‘organic’ understanding of history was characteristic of other national communists in Central Europe. Finally, Paleckis tried to incorporate national elements into the system of symbols in Soviet Lithuania. The Lithuanianisation of symbols of Soviet rule was meant to strengthen the legitimacy of the authorities. However, this analysis shows that the Lithuanian Party leadership did not support Paleckis’ ideas and efforts. He was often strongly criticised in communist forums. It can be argued that in the period of late Stalinism, the ‘window of opportunity’ for national communism in Lithuania was finally closed. Tendencies towards unification and Russification became increasingly prevalent in politics. Thus, in this political-cultural context, Paleckis represented the type of communist that could be called an indigenous Lithuanian communist.

In: Lithuanian Historical Studies

The significance of Iš kelionės po Europą ir Aziją (1914), the guidebook by Julija Pranaitytė, a Lithuanian intellectual from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, depended not just on the fact that the author was the first Lithuanian female traveller to comprehensively document the experiences of a modern tourist in the early 20th century, but that the book itself was the first guidebook to the Russian Empire to be published in Lithuanian.

The guidebook is an attempt by member of the intelligentsia with strong Catholic views to provide practical information about a modernizing and increasingly mobile world. Thus, the intended target of Pranaitytė book is twofold. Firstly, it is more mobile yet still poorly educated working-class reader who is being constantly warned about possible threads of being fooled or cheated. The reader could find advice in guidebook about things worth having while travelling, how to communicate, and what to expect. The guidebook also provides historical information about places visited, cultural insights, similarities and differences to Western society in such a way the book could be interesting and useful for middle-calls traveler as well.

There is also a more general problem relating to the author’s approach to the guidebook: what representations of different cultures and nations did early 20th-century Lithuanians share, and what did these representations mean in the religious, imperial and international contexts of the time? As is often the case in travel literature, history is presented here selectively, taking into account the dominant cultural monologue. It has a clear purpose in Pranaitytė’s guidebook: to spread a vision of the moral and religious superiority of Western and Christian culture. However, having in mind that growing number of workers and middle class were engage in Lithuanian national movement at the beginning of 20th century, this prejudges becomes paradoxical because Empire’s religious and cultural values are shown as cultural foundation for discovering new parts of late Russian Empire.

In: Lithuanian Historical Studies