Cold War Flashpoints
November 1999 - A decade later, the events of 1989 have lost none of their capacity to astonish. The sheer possibilities open at that time are enough to baffle even the knowledgeable observer. For those of us who lived through these events as they happened and had a certain role in shaping them, the enormity of what transpired that fateful year becomes even more amazing with the passage of time.
This paper was written to analyze the sixth of August 1990 as an important date in the history of Polish-German relations. It was on this day that Chancellor Helmut Kohl told a huge gathering of expellees from the former German territories now part of Poland that their homeland had been lost forever. The border with Poland was final and would not be undermined by any German territorial claims now or in the future. This paper examines both the road to reconciliation as well as long term prospects following the settlement.
244. The Social Roots of Ethnic Conflict in East Central Europe: A Comparative Study of the German Diaspora in Hungary, Romania and SlovakiaJul 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.
The shift from a German to a Hungarian theater culture has been told in different ways: This author analyzes three examples of this: 1) the nationalist linguistic focus on the making of texts and the theater as a forum for Magyarization; 2) the National Theater in Budapest as an institution-the building itself as an icon of Hungarian political identity; and 3) the role of the crowd in diffusing the significance of the theater, now simply one voice in the multiplicity of the metropolis.
January 2004 - In the aftermath of World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled close to three million ethnic Germans into occupied Austria and Germany. These so-called Sudeten Germans had long lived in borderland regions ringing the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, with the heaviest concentration inhabiting the industrially advanced north and west of Bohemia. During and after the expulsions, over two million Czechs settled in the formerly German areas, taking over houses, businesses and factories. The popular Communist Party controlled the resettlement process from the beginning in 1945, using its influence to create a web of patronage in the borderlands. This helped the Party win over 50 percent of the vote in north Bohemia in free elections in May of 1946. Even before Stalinism took hold in Czechoslovakia in 1948, north Bohemia's coal mining, power production and chemical industry were renowned. With the onset of a Communist policy of heavy industrialization, north Bohemia's industry became a model for the entire country. By the 1960s, north Bohemia also became known for its almost unrivaled pollution, with air and water so foul that trees died in waves and children decamped to the mountains for doses of clean air.
December 1998 - Many scholars suggest that both NATO and the Warsaw Pact developed out of the failure of the US and the USSR to come to agreement on the reconstitution of postwar Germany. Beyond this argument, however, one can also suggest that the central mechanism of the Cold War arms race in Europe was the political competition between West Germany's Bundeswehr and the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) for legitimacy in the eyes of the German people.
The question the author here asks is: if President Havel has been able to overcome the traditional Czech stereotyping of the Germans, is the same true of the bulk of his compatriots, especially those bearing bitter memories of the last world war? While the majority of the Czechs may have accepted Havel's hopeful message about a united democratic Germany, whose territorial limits were irrelevant, they were much more reluctant to accept his apology for the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans. Havel's two statements opened a Pandora's box containing many taboos about the Czech-German relationship of which most Czechs preferred not to be reminded. Several questions about this relationship require elaboration.
CWIHP Working Paper No. 3
CWIHIP Working Paper No. 11