Banner Viadrina

Ethnic Cleansing

and the German East

3/6/9 ECTS

Seminar: MA, MEK WM Mittel- und Osteuropa als kultureller Raum // MICS Culture, History and Societies in Central and Eastern Europe / Migration, Ethnicity, Ethnocentrism // MASS WM Migration, Ethnizität, Ethnozentrismus  // KGMOE Räume – Grenzen - Metropolen // MES

Montag, 9.15 – 10.45 Uhr, Ort: AM 202, Veranstaltungsbeginn: 16.04.2012

Europe’s ethnic landscape began to change dramatically after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. In the twelve years to come, virtually all European Jews vanished – either due to the Holocaust, emigration, or deportation. While according to the Third Reich’s racist ideology Jews, Sinti and Roma had to be exterminated, the Slavic speaking population of Europe was to be treated as a slave labor force. In their “Generalplan Ost,” Nazi planners envisioned a new, German dominated Europe with settlements far in the east. But by 1944, millions of Germans fled from the Red Army occupying their homelands. Ethnic cleansing, started by Germany in 1933, had reached its culmination.
In this course, we will analyze twentieth century changes in the ethnic landscape of East Central Europe. We will focus on German speaking populations, having settled vast areas in East Central Europe since the middle ages. The loss of „the German East‟ resulted in a veritable mass-trauma in Germany: while ignoring their own guilt for the cruelties of the war, some Germans refused to accept the loss of their homelands. The population of expellees hindered rapprochement with Poland and Czechoslovakia well into the 1990s. But German expellees were not alone in their refusal to accept responsibility for former atrocities: the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic only officially apologized for violence against Germans in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Here, we will explore the important legacy of „the German East" on both German and European cultural history, past and present.

Literatur: D.  Curp: A clean sweep? The politics of ethnic cleansing in western Poland, 1945 - 1960, Rochester, NY 2006; B. Frommer: National cleansing. Retribution against Nazi collaborators in postwar Czechoslovakia, Cambridge 2004; N. Naimark: Fires of hatred. Ethnic cleansing in twentieth-century Europe, Cambridge, Mass. 2001; O. Pohl: Ethnic cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949, Westport, Conn. 1999; P. Ther and A. Siljak (eds.): Redrawing nations. Ethnic cleansing in East-Central Europe, 1944 - 1948, Lanham 2001; St. B. Várdy (ed.): Ethnic cleansing in twentieth-century Europe, New York 2003.
Leistungsnachweis: Referat, Hausarbeit, Essays
Sprache: English