What is German about German history? At the centennial of 1918, Ferenc Laczo reflects on ruptures and continuities in modern German history including major debates around the origins and memory of the holocaust in Western and East-Central Europe. What have historians who have studied twentieth-century German history accomplished and what remains to be done? What are the most interesting and innovative recent books on the holocaust and WWII? [photo: www.fortepan.hu]
Even though the first image that comes to mind about Ceaușescu’s Romania is the sweeping destruction of traditional city centers, Liliana Iuga talks about the socialist impetus to save urban resources and a mure nuanced approach to demolitions in communist Romania. What was the role of historical preservation within socialist urbanism? How did interwar technocrats become recycled in the 1950s and 1960s? How did urban property rights inhibit the planners of a socialist state?
Despite stagnation and recession why did the collapse of socialist economies take even savy contemporaries in the Eastern Bloc by surprise? Why are Austrian wages still more than double as compared to those in neighboring Slovakia and Hungary, 28 years after 1989? Why qualitative catching up with the West is lagging behind quantitative progress? Will East-Central European capitalism remain different from that of Western?With Budapest-based economist Tamás Réti, we talk about the culture of...
Why did anti-Western conspiracy theories emerge as mainstream discourses that attempted to explain Russian politics? How do 19th Russian interpretations of the Crimean War relate to current discussions on the 2014 annexation of Crimea and Russia’s relationship with “the West”? Do contemporary American and Russian conspiracy theories share family resemblances?
What are the options of livelihood available for Bucharest Romas in the 2010s? Anthropologist Gergo Pulay touches on “miraculous” scrap metal trade, drug abuse, the transformation of a former working-class neighborhood as well as emigration. He closes with sharing his favorite manele song “Mahala și țiganie.”
Was prostitution a means of social mobility for women in fin-de-siècle Habsburg Central Europe? How widespread was prostitution in Cisleithanian Austria during the First World War? How were women recruited into prostitution, what were their working conditions and how do we get from Austria to Argentina? Nancy Wingfield has revisited some of these issues in her new book, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria (Oxford University Press, 2017)