Author: Rainer Liedtke
Wie »jüdisch« waren wirtschaftliche Aktivitäten von Juden?
Ausgehend von dieser Leitfrage stellt der Band dar, wie sich die Berufsfelder, die ökonomische Lage und das wirtschaftliche Handeln von Juden seit dem 18. Jahrhundert veränderten und welche Auswirkungen dies auf ihre Integration in die Gesamtgesellschaft hatte. Durch einen Blick auf jüdische Wohltätigkeit und Philanthropie werden die Ungleichheiten des rapiden wirtschaftlichen Aufstiegs des jüdischen Bürgertums seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhundert betrachtet. Dieser Aufstieg steht in einem starken Kontrast zu den zahlreichen Anfeindungen aufgrund angeblicher wirtschaftlicher jüdischer Dominanz, die ebenso thematisiert werden wie die Ausplünderung der Juden im Nationalsozialismus. Der Band schließt mit einer Darstellung der sogenannten Wiedergutmachung und der Probleme bei der Restitution jüdischer Vermögen. Auch die Entwicklung der Wirtschaftsbeziehungen zwischen Israel und der Bundesrepublik Deutschland wird thematisiert.
Ein Wiederaufbau, der vor dem Krieg begann
Series:  FOKUS, Volume: 1
Das Wiederaufbauprogramm des historischen Stadtzentrums von Warschau, in der Kunstgeschichte als ein einmaliges und einzigartiges Projekt wahrgenommen, war eine Collage europäischer Ideen der Architektur, Stadtplanung, Denkmalpflege, Moderne und Hygiene.
Der Wiederaufbau des gesamten historischen Viertels, wie er in Warschau nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg erfolgte, wurde von einem bis dato beispiellosen Ausmaß der Zerstörung erzwungen und bildete eine Ausnahmeerscheinung im europäischen Vergleich. Sucht man nach den ideologischen Wurzeln des Wiederaufbauprogramms der Warschauer Baudenkmale, wird ein deutlicher Fortbestand des städtebaulichen und architektonischen Gedankenguts aus der Vorkriegszeit sichtbar, welches insbesondere in den ersten Nachkriegsjahren zum Ausdruck kam. Die Idee der Kontinuität der Vorkriegstheorie und -praxis polnischer Architekten, die das Zentrum Warschaus wiederaufbauten, bildet die Hauptthese der vorliegenden Dissertation.

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