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Tag: history

The Thalerhof internment camp and its legacy for the Rusyns of Eastern Europe

Lemko-Rusyn intellectuals, community leaders, and villagers would perish at the camp established by Austrian authorities on the site of the modern-day Graz Airport.

September 15, 2021 - Starik Pollock

Between history and magic

The protesters and Belarusian commentators adopted the role of colonised objects. The scale of the protests surprised everyone. As soon they erupted, the clichéd accounts that the pro-tests represent the birth of the nation were repeated like a mantra. Apparently it emerged sud-denly and Belarusians were formed as a nation in that moment.

A year has passed since the presidential elections in Belarus, which initiated an un-precedented social uprising, often referred to as the Belarusian revolution. Like most revolu-tions, the Belarusian one created its own symbols. Their appearance and dissemination among the protesters had primarily a unifying function. Symbols express the intentions of a revolu-tion. Their interpretation allows us to reconstruct the vision of the future that could emerge on the ruins of the overthrown regime. It raises the following question: one year after the start of protests, how can we describe the symbolism of the Belarusian revolution and can we say it will be an unfulfilled one?

September 12, 2021 - Paulina Siegień Wojciech Siegień

Shifting empires. The Treaty of Nystad turns 300

Three hundred years on, the Treaty of Nystad, which ended the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia, still has a strong legacy today. The new reality, which formed after the signing of the treaty on September 10th 1721, saw Moscow emerge as a significant actor in Europe.

Russia’s road to power and significance in the world was long and ambiguous. Moscow’s imperial aspirations were sparked by the start of the Great Northern War in 1700 and were confirmed exactly 300 years ago. The famous battle of Poltava on June 28th 1709 paved that way. Yet, in spite of its military significance, it was the diplomatic and legal solutions that announced the rise of a new player, taking Sweden’s place, at the table of European powers. But it took 12 more years before Moscow broke the will of Stockholm entirely.

September 12, 2021 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Life as a Moscow correspondent

A review of Assignment Russia. By: Marvin Kalb. Publisher: Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC, 2021.

September 12, 2021 - Luke Harding

Establishing a continental balance

A review of The Temptation of Homo Europaeus: An Intellectual History of Central and Southeastern Europe. By: Victor Neumann. Publisher: Scala Arts Publishers, London, 2021.

September 12, 2021 - Jacek Hajduk

A post-mortem monument

A review of Wrócę przed nocą. Reportaż o przemilczanym (I will come back before dusk. A reportage on the unspoken) By: Jerzy Szperkowicz. Publisher: Wydawnictwo Znak, Kraków, Poland, 2021.

September 12, 2021 - Paulina Małochleb

Fear as essential

A review of the film Dear Comrades! directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia, 2020.

June 22, 2021 - Anna Efimova

Remembrance, history, and justice. Coming to terms with traumatic pasts in democratic societies

A review of Remembrance, History, and Justice: Coming to terms with traumatic pasts in democratic societies. Editors: Vladimir Tismaneanu and Bogdan C. Iacob. Publisher: Central European University Press, Budapest, 2016.

June 22, 2021 - Juho Nikko

The Baltic phoenix

The dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in defragmenting of the world map into fifteen pieces – most of which were new entities. However, three of them somehow seemed particularly familiar – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, jointly known as the Baltic states. Their re-emergence in Europe created many legal questions as they all began to claim renewal of their previous statehoods existing in 1918-1940.

Anti-Soviet tendencies on the Baltic coast exploded at the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. The desire for independence and the struggle for historical truth in the Baltic republics spawned social movements which emphasised the statehoods of the Baltic states, deprived as the result of the USSR’s invasion in 1940.

April 11, 2021 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Preserving Soviet-era mosaics in Georgia

A conversation with Nini Palavandishvili, a curator and researcher involved in the process of documenting and mapping Soviet-era Mosaics in Georgia. Interviewer: Natalia Mosashvili

NATALIA MOSASHVILI: Can you say a few words about the meaning of Soviet-era mosaics and why they are often reduced to propaganda of the Soviet system?

NINI PALAVANDISHVILI: I would like to start by saying that my position is the following: of course, these mosaics were created during the Soviet times, but they are not necessarily “Soviet” mosaics. During this period mosaics were created in Mexico, America, France, Spain, Portugal, and many other places. Emphasising them as "Soviet mosaics" is not right.

April 11, 2021 - Natalia Mosashvili Nini Palavandishvili

International law and the Soviet wild-goose chase

Soviet political proposals from before the war and the legacy of the United Nations established as a result of the Soviet victory over Nazism are often recalled in the Kremlin’s contemporary narratives. Yet, a look at the historical development of the Soviet understanding of international law reveals a chaotic and political, rather than legal, approach.

The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the proclamation of the United Nations was a topic intensively exploited by Russian diplomacy which attempted to highlight the Soviet input into the triumph over the Nazis and the creation of an international organisation. The Kremlin’s rhetoric was expressed directly by Vladimir Putin twice last year – once thanks to an article published in The National Interest in June and then, via a speech delivered virtually during the annual summit of the United Nations, in September.

February 3, 2021 - Grzegorz Szymborski

An underappreciated contribution to European history

A review of Przegrane Zwycięstwo. Wojna Polsko-Bolszewicka 1918–1920. (Lost Victory. The Polish-Bolshevik War of 1918-1920). By: Andrzej Chawlba. Publisher: Wydawnictwo Czarne, Wołowiec, Poland, 2020.

February 3, 2021 - Zbigniew Rokita

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