Welcome to the webpages of the Department of Modern History of Eastern Europe!



We have a strong interest in history as well as Eastern Europe. On this Home page you may find current information or offers that enable you to delve deeper into both topics and take part in respective events. Looking further, you may find general information on Eastern European studies and the people who are concerned with research and teaching on this field in Göttingen as well as possibilities to explore and experience the region yourself by doing a field trip or doing a semester abroad or an internship.
______________________________________________________________________________

Book launch and panel discussion on Thursday, Jan. 26, (18.00-19.30 Berlin time, online, registration link below)

Georgiy Kasianov: Memory Crash: On the Use and Abuse of Ukraine's Past

Book launch and panel discussion

Past cannot be controlled, but it can be instrumentalised. Russia's war against Ukraine, with Putin as the war's initiator aiming to fulfil his imperial worldview, serves as the main proof of this affirmation. The growing relevance of history politics in the war context raised new challenges for the construction of memory politics in Ukraine and the overcoming of a conflictual past between Ukraine and Russia.

Georgiy Kasianov's new book, Memory Crash. Politics of History In and Around Ukraine, 1980s-2010s (CEU Press 2022), analyses how was historical politics constructed and instrumentalised in Ukraine and in its neighboring states from the late Soviet period to the construction of an independent Ukraine, and up to today. Historical policies and practices of various actors such as state institutions, NGOs, political parties, historians, and local governments are deconstructed and confronted in view of their aims and interests. It argues that the scope of building national identity once clashed with that of gaining power and influence in the national and international spheres can often bring unexpected results, often to the detriment of society.

The panel discussion will revolve around the main book's themes and the characteristics that make Ukraine a distinctive case in the study of historical politics. Such debated aspects as the "de-communisation" of public space by replacing it with other controversial heroes, the Holodomor, the WWII and the Holocaust will be reflected upon also from today's war perspective.

Panel discussants:

  • Prof. Dr. Georgiy Kasianov (book author), University of Lublin / National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv
  • Prof. Dr. Anke Hilbrenner, University of Düsseldorf
  • Prof. Dr. Marin Aust, University of Bonn


Moderator:

  • PD Dr. Svetlana Suveica, University of Göttingen / DGO-Branch Göttingen/Kassel


The event is organised in cooperation with DGO- Zweigstelle Göttingen/Kassel.

Participation is possible via the following registration link.
______________________________________________________________________________

Colloquium on Tuesday, Jan. 10 (6 p.m. c.t., KWZ 2.739)

  • Vanessa Bokelmann will present her Bachelor´s thesis in progress on the subject of "Wenn der Platz nicht reicht, benutzen Sie einen extra Zettel!" - Schriftliches Erzählen und Erinnern ehemaliger NS-Zwangsarbeiter*innen in Göttingen Anfang der 2000er-Jahre
  • Corinna Gnatzy will present her Master´s thesis on the subject of Die Wahrnehmung der Ukraine in Deutschland und in Polen während der Fußball-EM 2012
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Colloquium on Tuesday, Dec. 13 (6 p.m. c.t., online)

    • Aleksandra Oniszczuk: Modernes Recht als Mittel zur Ermächtigung: Jüdinnen in den polnischen Ländern während der napoleonischen Zeit


    Next Tuesday we welcome Aleksandra Oniszczuk to our colloquium. He will give a lecture on "Modernes Recht als Mittel zur Ermächtigung: Jüdinnen in den polnischen Ländern während der napoleonischen Zeit". For a brief summary about the topic of the talk and an overview of the speaker's academic career, please see this abstract and the short biography.




    Das von Napoleon erlassene moderne Recht wird in der Regel als unvorteilhaft für Frauen wahrgenommen. Auch wenn das Vorhandensein offensichtlich patriarchalischer Normen in seinen Gesetzbüchern nicht in Frage gestellt werden kann, lassen sich auf der Mikroebene der Forschung interessante Nuancierungen dieses allgemeinen Bildes finden. Eine umfangreiche Archiv- und Presserecherche zum Herzogtum Warschau (1807-1815), einem von Napoleon gegründeten polnischen Staat, liefert die Grundlage für die Formulierung folgender These: Die durch moderne Gesetzbücher gestützte Vereinheitlichung von Verwaltungs- und Gerichtsverfahren unterstützte bis zu einem gewissen Grad die Ermächtigung jüdischer Frauen. Die Schaffung von Verfahren und Institutionen, die allen Einwohnern gemeinsam waren, eröffnete jüdischen Frauen eine Vielzahl neuer Möglichkeiten für eine Teilnahme am öffentlichen Leben.
    Dr. Aleksandra Oniszczuk – Assistenzprofessorin an der Fakultät für Geschichte der Universität Warschau, Polen. Sie hat Geschichte, Jura und Jüdische Studien studiert und wurde mit einer Arbeit über die Judenpolitik des napoleonischen Herzogtums Warschau promoviert. Das Buch erschien 2021 unter dem Titel Pod presją nowoczesności. Władze Księstwa Warszawskiego wobec Żydów (dt. „Unter dem Druck der Moderne. Die Behörden des Herzogtums Warschau und die Juden“). Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind soziale und politische Ungleichheiten und die jüdische Geschichte Osteuropas.


    The lecture will take place online and will start at 6 pm c.t..

    Participation is possible via the following link.

    The identification code is: 317399
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Interview: Svetlana Suveica on the difficult situation in the Republic of Moldova because of the war in Ukraine in an interview for Deutsche Welle.

    The interview is accessible at this link.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Colloquium on Tuesday, Nov. 15 (6 p.m. c.t., KWZ, room 2.739)

    • Yaroslav Zhuravlov: Babyn Yar 1944–2021: A Contested Memory Landscape


    Next Tuesday we welcome Yaroslav Zhuravlov to our colloquium. He will give a lecture on "Babyn Yar 1944–2021: A Contested Memory Landscape". For a brief summary about the topic of the talk and an overview of the speaker's academic career, please see this abstract and the short biography.




    The Babyn Yar in Kyiv (also known as Babiy Yar, Babi Jar) is a widely known ravine where German Einsatzgruppen executed more than 100 thousand people during WW2, most of them Jews. This massacre had a profound effect on the future history of this place. Babyn Yar was, and remains, a landscape of competing and interracting memory projects. For instance, the vision of the Soviet regime for the role and the importance of this place differed significantly from that of the local Jewish activists. After 1991, the Ukrainian authorities and the NGOs tried to understand and create their own meaning of Babyn Yar, adding additional layers to its commemorative landscape. It is imperative to understand and explain the conceptual significance of Babyn Yar for the Eastern European history in general, as it represents an analytical field of overlapping spaces. Competing memorialization projects visually manifested different processes concerning the entire Soviet Union and the post-Soviet area. These processes were made visible precisely through various memorialization projects, providing valuable insight into the history of Eastern Europe. Yaroslav Zuravlov aims at analyzing the transformation of this place of the Holocaust and exploring the diversity of actors, meanings, and discourses that formed the overlapping memorial landscape in Babyn Yar.
    Dr. Yaroslav Zhuravlov is a Ukrainian historian. In 2019 he defeated his PhD Thesis at the NASU Institute of History of Ukraine, Kyiv, with the topic: "The reflection of the Soviet reality in citizens' appeals to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (the second half of the 1960s – the first half of the 1980s)". The dissertation was published in Ukrainian as chapters in the collective monograph: Ukrainian Society in the 1960s–1980s. Historical Study / Ed. in chief Viktor Danylenko (Kyiv: Institute of History of Ukraine of NAS Ukraine, 2022). Since January 2022, Dr. Yaroslav Zhuravlov has been Visiting Scholar at Bielefeld University, Germany. His current project is: "Babyn Yar 1944–2022: A Contested Memory Landscape through the Prism of Competitive Differentiations and Identifications."

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Publication: Svetlana Suveica, „Pianos and Paintings from Transnistria: The Plunder of ‘Cultural Trophies’ During the Romanian Occupation (1941-1944)", Journal of Holocaust Research 36 4/2022, 261-280.

    Summary: This article is the first attempt to piece together the sporadic traces of cultural plunder in wartime southwestern Ukraine under Romania’s occupation in 1941-1944. In Transnistria, where hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered, the violent and organized redistribution of wealth and heritage via acts of cultural looting occurred in tandem with the economic exploitation and extermination of Jews in the region. Motivated by prospects of high profits, regional and local public officials set up hidden networks and organized group schemes that transgressed the boundaries of state hierarchies and extended beyond the region. While deliberately extracting ‘cultural trophies’ from local museums, theaters, and art galleries based on Ion Antonescu’s verbal orders, they simultaneously plundered the valuables and belongings, including objects of cultural value, of the Jews.

    The publication is accessible at this link.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Colloquium on Tuesday, Nov. 15 (6 p.m. c.t., KWZ, room 2.738)

    • Jelena Radovanović (Münster): Disenchanted Afterlives: Ottoman Islamic Religious Foundations (awqāf) in post-Ottoman Space


    Jelena Radovanović: Disenchanted Afterlives

    Next Tuesday we welcome Jelena Radovanović (Münster) to our colloquium. She will give a lecture on "Disenchanted Afterlives: Ottoman Islamic Religious Foundations (awqāf) in post-Ottoman Space". For a brief summary about the topic of the talk and an overview of the speaker's academic career, please see this abstract and the short biography.




    The presentation will focus on discursive and spatial aspects of management of Islamic religious endowments in post-Ottoman Serbia. Scholars agree that the Islamic religious endowments (waqf, pl. awqāf) shaped the cultural, religious, and socioeconomic life of Ottoman cities. Yet when it comes to Southeast Europe, the legal position, societal role, and legacy of the waqf institution in the post-Ottoman period remains underexplored. Left to separate national(ist) narratives, the memory (and amnesia) of waqf acquired strikingly different shapes in different nation states—ranging from its secularization in Turkey to a deep emphasis of its religious and Ottoman roots in Bosnia—while the bigger picture of the complex legacy of the institution remains obscured. The broader project traces the post-Ottoman afterlives of waqf in Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Habsburg Bosnia, by focusing in particular on the legal and spatial aspects of the institution’s destruction and decline. It places the Southeast European waqf in a broader context of intertwined processes of secularization, modernization, and colonialism, in and beyond the Middle East.
    Jelena Radovanović is a historian and a postdoctoral researcher at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics,” University of Münster. Previously, she obtained her Ph.D. from Princeton University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the MPRG “Empires of Memory” Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen. Her research focuses on legacies and memories of empires, and the reconfigurations of space, land, and property in Southeast Europe.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Panel discussion: Religion im Ukraine-Krieg. Historische und regionale Perspektiven

    PD Dr Svetlana Suveica will participate in the panel discussion "Religion im Ukraine-Krieg. Historische und regionale Perspektiven" in Frankfurt.
    Plakat Religion im Ukraine-Krieg

    The panel discussion aims to focus on the specific role of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, but also to shed light on religious diversity and interfaith civil society interaction in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine, embedding it in the historical and regional context of the conflict.

    • Organizer: Forschungsverbund „Dynamiken des Religiösen", Universität Frankfurt & Historisches Museum Frankfurt


    Find more information about the event here.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Online Ring Lecture: Moldau. Eine geteilte Geschichte

    Moldau. Eine geteilte Geschichte
    Source: Institut für deutsche Kultur und Geschichte Südosteuropas

    Winter semester 2022/23, Thursdays, 4-6 p.m., online.

    On 10/11/2022 PD Dr. Svetlana Suveica will give a lecture on "Die Moldau, (Süd)Bukowina und (Groß)Rumänien ab 1918".

    Organizer:

    • Dr. Florian Kührer-Wielach (IKGS München/LMU München),
    • Prof. Dr. Kurt Scharr (Universität Innsbruck/Osteuropazentrum),
    • PD Dr. Tobias Weger (IKGS München/LMU München)
    • in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Moldova Institut Leipzig.





    With Russia's war of aggression, the Republic of Moldova and the breakaway "republic" of Transnistria have also become the focus of media coverage. We encounter Moldovans on a daily basis, mostly unrecognized, especially as migrant workers. Their country of origin is terra incognita. This hybrid, cross-institutional lecture series is dedicated to Moldovans and Moldova as a region, society and state, as part of a European history.

    The aim is thus to embed the history and present of Moldova and the historical region of Moldova in larger spatial and cultural contexts. The region, which is supposedly in a multiple peripheral position, moves into the center of an interconnected historical representation. Starting from the present-day Republic of Moldova, different historical perspectives on the region and its volatile borders are developed.

    Historical longitudinal sections (2.-7.) and contemporary surveys (8.-11.) sketch a relational history of Moldova, its people, and their respective ruling frameworks. Political, economic, social, and cultural developments are treated in each case in synopsis and from the perspective of the history of interconnections. The various imperial and post-imperial points of reference and their changing significance for the Republic and the region of Moldova make the complexity of Moldovan culture as well as the opportunities and threats of a society at the interface of civilizations comprehensible. Three more discursive formats (12-14) deepen the examination of Moldova.

    Here you can find more information about the event and the zoom link.
    ______________________________________________________________________________