Eastern Europe Publications

341. The Perception of the Holocaust: Public Challenges and Experience in Lithuania

Jul 07, 2011
September 2007 - The war in the East differed dramatically from that in the West in terms of human cost, ideological fanaticism and brutality. The contrasting fates of Denmark and Poland are instructive. The former was certainly the safest zone in Nazi-occupied Europe: between 1940 and 1945 deaths at the hand of the Nazis there numbered only slightly more than the total of automobile fatalities in California in one year. On the other hand, central Poland constituted a black hole of genocidal depravity, arguably the worst place in the world in all of the twentieth century. There is also the chronological dissonance—one can find a number of locales in Lithuania where more people were killed after V-E Day than during the Second World War. It is not difficult to see that the Western (primarily British and American) perspective and imagery of World War II is largely irrelevant to the experiences of the population inhabiting the regions between Germany and Russia. The vocabulary of the "good war," the Holocaust and the Greatest Generation is meaningless to many Lithuanians. Appreciating the conflicting memories and narratives of the war is crucial in seeking to understand Lithuanian perception of the country's difficult past. more

31. Lessons of the East European Revolutions of 1989

Jul 07, 2011
There is little doubt what the greatest lesson of 1989 is: communism failed. Recent commentary to the contrary, this failure is not a parochial event limited in its significance to Eastern Europe, to the resolution of the Cold War, or to Western policy initiatives, but rather a moment of global importance in the most important family of events of the last few hundred years. These events do not have a satisfactory name, even though we all know how fundamental they are. Instead of calling them the industrial revolution, modernization, the great transformation, the single transition, or the emergence of capitalism, the author here explores their definition as the energy revolution. more

171. Solving The Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Dam Conflict

Jul 07, 2011
December 1998 - In 1977 Czechoslovakia and Hungary agreed to build a barrage complex on the Danube River with large dams at Gabcikovo (Czechoslovakia) and Nagymaros (Hungary). According to the treaty, the jointly-owned and -operated system would "strengthen the fraternal relations of the two states and significantly contribute to the bringing about of the[ir] socialist integration." In reality, however, it sparked a controversy between these two neighbors that has plagued Hungarian-Slovak relations for more than two decades. more

244. The Social Roots of Ethnic Conflict in East Central Europe: A Comparative Study of the German Diaspora in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia

Jul 07, 2011
November 2001- In the twentieth century, one of the most explosive issues of European history was the ethnic-national question in East Central Europe. From the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the struggle of minorities for nationhood leading up to World War I, to the rise of National Socialism and the horrors of the Holocaust, to the recent bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia, the ethnic-national question in East Central Europe significantly altered the course of European as well as world civilization. Arguably the most controversial ethnic-minorities of East Central Europe were the Germans. Sometimes referred to as the 'fifth column' or as 'Himmler's auxiliaries' in popular and academic minds, the German Diaspora in Eastern Europe is often viewed as having been Hitler's willing accomplices in his eastward expansion. more

323. Constitution Drafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
May 2006 - Ten years after the adoption of the Dayton Accords, the awkward, redundant, expensive and often ineffective institutional structure that resulted from that process is largely still in place today. Careful not to give too much power at the federal level to any one ethnic group, the Dayton Accords divested power from the center to local governing bodies. Among other problems, the nearly powerless central government was not granted authority over crucial state interests—such as defense, taxation and the environment—which are necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to accede to the European Union. more

12. Approaching Relations with Eastern Europe in the Late 1980s

Jul 07, 2011
This paper is not intended as a policy statement, rather the aim is to inject some ideas into the debate, and of these some will necessarily be speculative. The task that the United States faces in approaching Eastern Europe in the late 1980s is to define our objectives and to use whatever influence we have to move events in the direction of those objectives. more

154. Hungary's Upcoming Elections; Political Prospects & The Economic Dimension

Jul 07, 2011
February 1998 - In May 1998, Hungary's third, free, parliamentary election will be held. Hungary's first free election in 1990 changed the political system, and the former Communists lost. In 1994, Hungarians voted for a change in the government, and the post-Communists won. This year, the major question facing voters is the composition of the next government coalition. To understand the present political situation, it is helpful to analyze the results of the recent public surveys. more

228. Rediscovering the Black Sea: The Wider Southeast Europe in History, Politics, and Policy

Jul 07, 2011
February 2001- The Black Sea, in many ways, is back. Neal Ascherson's evocative travel book, Black Sea (1995), sparked new interest among travelers to Crimea, the Caucasus, and the northern coast of Turkey. The Black Sea Trade Project at the University of Pennsylvania promises to uncover new archaeological evidence of the connections among Greek trading colonies around the sea's rim, as well as of ancient settlements long since covered by the sea's waters. Then there is news that the great deluge of Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh may actually have had its origins perhaps 8,000 years ago or so, when a great freshwater lake joined with the salty Mediterranean to form the strange ecological system of the Black Sea. more

308. Framing the Gap between International and Local Perspectives on Addressing Organized Crime and Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jul 07, 2011
December 2004 - A careful look at the nature of the ongoing discussions about organized crime and corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) between internationals and locals forces the observer to ask why there appears to be such a marked difference between the ways each side describes and understands the problems. The international community (IC) talks about BiH's organized crime and corruption problems in terms of institutional weakness and failure. International approaches separate organized crime and corruption from larger society as illicit, parasitic predators on an otherwise democratic state. In response, the international community conceives aggressive institutional solutions, which appear ineffective and land on deaf ears in the local communities affected by them. Local professionals—opinion makers, legal personnel, and business persons—describe the problems in terms of their connectedness to larger structural issues. They talk about how organized crime and corruption are part of a broader set of social, political and economic circumstances, in which the international community is a part. In the course of interviewing 266 local professionals, I discovered some important characteristics of the shape and scope of this discontinuity. The following is a short discussion about these findings. more

136. Present Day Hungarian Politics and The Memory of 1956

Jul 07, 2011
March 1997 - October-November 1956 witnessed the most momentous events in Hungarian history since 1848, according to Istvan Deak, but they escape an agreed definition despite remaining a defining memory. The debate in Hungary over the events of 1956 even extends to what to call them, with "revolution and struggle for freedom" being the current compromise. Deak, the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and a former Wilson Center Fellow, began his Noon Discussion on 12 March by reviewing the way the 1956 revolution has been treated in Hungary from the Communist to the post-Communist period. To bring his audience up to date on the political debate and the current best understanding of what happened, he concluded with his impressions from the fortieth anniversary conference held in Budapest in September 1996. The meeting was cosponsored by the Center's Cold War International History Project, the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the National Security Archive. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.