Panel: Spaces of Ethnic Conflict in Baltic Cities from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present

AABS Conference 2018 http://aabs2018.stanford.edu/
Stanford, June 1-3, 2018

Baltic urban spaces were highly divided and structured, both in their social and ethnic dimensions. By the twentieth century, ethnic strife became one of the most pressing issues for the local actors. Baltic cities became the primary arena that witnessed the fundamental reshaping of ethnic relationships and renegotiation of political loyalty that preceded (and in many ways: caused) and followed both World Wars. Those initially local processes were followed with growing nationwide attention, which, ultimately, greatly contributed to the radical transformation of the political map of Eastern and Central Europe by the middle of the twentieth century.

The Baltic is a multiethnic European region that has long displayed certain distinctive features. The origins of ethnic tension in the diverse polities spread around its shores were inextricably tied to the specific urban geography of Baltic cities. Social stratification, including its very tangible spatial aspect in the Baltic cities, exacerbated a particularly powerful feedback loop that reinforced the conflict dynamic both in the local and pan-European contexts. Those understudied developments need to be revisited to fully understand their historical significance. This panel will do so by bringing together new research from the fields of conflict resolution and loyalty formation as well as from urban studies. We will discuss how ethnic conflict arose in Baltic urban spaces and how its intensity fluctuated across space and time. Furthermore, we will highlight the particular mechanisms that either aggravated or deescalated ethnic conflicts in the Baltic region.

Heidi Hein-Kircher (Marburg/Wuppertal): Chair and Short Introduction: on the Necessity to Strengthen Baltic Urban and Conflict Studies

Jörg Hackmann (Szczecin): Multi-Ethnicity as a Source of Urban Conflicts? Ethnic Sociability in the Tsarist Baltic Provinces, Late 19th Century - 1914

Adrian Mitter (Toronto/Marburg): Germans, Jews and Poles in the Free City of Danzig – Interwar Ethnic Conflicts Beyond the Polish-German Antagonism

Vera Volkmann (Marburg): Conflicting Loyalties in Latvian Urban Spaces Loyalty and Minority Conflicts in Urban Spaces in Latgale and Courland. The Examples of Daugavpils and Aizpute

Tomasz Blusiewicz (Tyumen): ‘Divide et Impera’: Ethnic Divisions and the Logic of Soviet Rule in the Baltic in the Brezhnev Era

Eszter Gantner (Marburg/Berlin): Comment: The Baltic Region as a Peculiar Conflict Region



Panel: Layers of Conflicting History: Mapping Collective (Post-)Memories in European Border Towns

25th International Conference of Europeanists "Europe and the World: Mobilities, Values and Citizenship"

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., March 28-30, 2018, organized by the Council for European Studies


Panel des Herder-Instituts, 28.3.2018

In Zusammenarbeit mit Kimmo Katajala (Joensuu, FIN), Steen Bo Frandsen (Sonderburg, DK) und Jörg Hackmann (Stettin, PL) hat das Herder-Institut auf der 25. International Conference of Europeanists in Chicago ein interdisziplinäres Panel zu kontroversen Erinnerungen und gegensätzlichen Geschichtskonstruktionen in europäischen Grenzstädten organisiert. Ausgehend von den Fällen Flensburg, Stettin, Triest, Wyborg und Narva wurde die Rolle nationaler Grenzen und ihrer Dynamiken für die Formierung lokaler kollektiver Gedächtnisse diskutiert. Neben dem Fortwirken gegensätzlicher nationaler Erinnerungen wurden ebenso transnationale Aspekte von ‚Post-Memory‘, also der Erinnerung an die Erfahrungen früherer Stadtbewohner, und der Kommerzialisierung in der Präsentation städtischer Geschichte erörtert.

In der von Peter Haslinger geleiteten Diskussion wurde die Bedeutung des Fokus auf lokale Entwicklungen und die Vielschichtigkeit jüngerer Erinnerungsdebatten hervorgehoben, die nicht mehr allein entlang nationaler oder zeitlicher Trennlinien verlaufen. Zusammen mit weiteren Fällen sollen die Beiträge in eine gemeinsame Publikation einfließen.


Steen Bo Frandsen (Sonderborg): Between German and Danish Flensburg

Jörg Hackmann (Szczecin): From Stettin / Szczecin to Stecin / Szczettin: Hybrid Mnemonic Narratives in a (new) Border City

Steffen Hoehne (Jena): Trieste - Memorials and Memorial Policy in a Former Habsburg City

Chloe Wells (Joensuu): 'Vyborg Is Ours': Tracing the Postmemory of a Lost Finnish City

Katarzyna Stokłosa (Sonderborg): Narva-Ivangorod: On the Way from Bordering to Cross-Border Identity?

Chair und Discussant: Peter Haslinger


Due to changing geopolitics and borders, several European cities have pasts connected to more than one nation or state. The earlier periods have left traces in these city environments, especially in the architecture. City environments are full of buildings, places and spaces that contain memories. Inside these locales of memory, objects or places can become places of remembrance with special meaning for the inhabitants of the city.

The former owners and residents of the city may still have strong bonds to their previous residence, to its history and its places. They can cherish their cityscape as it was formerly in their memories. The concept ‘post-memory’ describes a situation in which collective memories are passed on to generations who have no personal experience of certain events or places.

These cities are the objects of at least two collective memories: of those who live in them today and of those (or their ancestors) who once lived in them. These different interpretations, however, always consider how the past is used in the present. The leading question of this session is to analyse the presentations and uses of history focussing on both the contents and practices of how a society and individuals deal with their collective memories about city spaces.

The relevance of the proposed session lies in the lively recent discussion among historians about ‘sites of memory’, about ‘history politics’ and the ‘uses of history’. Our comprehension about the past is an important part of the way we understand the present.


Changing Social Connections in Time and Space

42nd Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association (http://ssha.org/annual-conference)

Montreal, Quebec Canada, November 2-5, 2017

Panel: Circulating practices: Networks and exchange between emerging cities in Europe's Borderlands, 1880-1945

Thursday, November 02: 08:00 AM-10:00 AM

Until now the focus of the research in the case of the cities of Eastern and Southern Europe was mainly migration and institutions of technology transfer (such as universities) suggesting a transfer of knowledge and practices from the center to the periphery. But instead of following this topos of urban history, the proposed panel of the Herder-Institute Germany concentrates on the less researched exchanges of actors, practices and strategies of knowledge between the cities of the European borderlands such as East Europe.

This will be achieved with a special focus on the production and distribution of civic engineering, which played a particularly important role in the modernization of the architectural and infrastructural system of these emerging cities in the late 19th and early 20th century with their fast growing population.  Budapest, or Lemberg and Gdansk/Danzig emerged in the interface of national visions and desires and of international processes and influences. Although the metropolises of the age like Paris and London had an enormous impact on the urbanization of these cities, at the same time they have been practical enough to turn to each other for solving social and infrastructural problems emerged due their similar urbanism.
This hypothesis and understanding these cities as “emerging cities”, we would like to analyze trough the comparative perspective and the lenses of the engineering sciences.

Session organizer and chair: Dr. Eszter Gantner
Commentator: Professor Till van Rahden

Dr. Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder Institute): The challenges of providing healthy living conditions. The Case of Lviv

As the capital city of the poor Habsburgian Crownland Galicia and Lodomeria, local politics in Lviv focused on city development. The challenges laid on the one side on the high mortality rate and the pursuit of being a modern capital city and on the other side on stylizing the city as a Polish city. As the population mainly belonged to the under classes, typical problems of poverty like epidemics challenged the local actors. An extraordinary challenge was the problem of providing the population with healthy and cheap food, because Lviv belonged to the most expensive European cities after 1900. Orientating at best practices all over Europe, the local actors tried to find some solutions for this problem which was threatening the social peace in the city, too.

Dr. Eszter Gantner (Herder Institute): “Between local and global” – The network of a civil engineer at the turn of the 19th and 20th century from East Central Europe

The years between 1873 and 1914 marked the beginning and the end of the most successful era of modernization and urbanization in the history of Budapest. This lecture argues that the urban development was both based on the conscious and strategic adaptation and keeping balance between the local traditions and needs and European trends.
Using Budapest as a case study, this lecture investigates the specific local conditions that gave rise to the transfer, adaptation and use of modern knowledge in the cities of Eastern Central Europe in the 19th century. Doing so, the lecture  introduces and analyzes  the network of the Budapest based civil engineer and planner Imre Forbát, who was trained in Budapest, Vienna and Zürich, working throughout Europe between 1900 and 1914 transferring best practices and ideas especially in the field of social housing between the various cities such Frankfurt, Berlin, Budapest, Varna  and Paris and Manchester.

Máté Tamáska (Hungarian National Archive, Budapest): „Little Vienna-Little Budapest”: Ring Roads and Circles in the Regional Cities of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy (1850-1920)

The European City transformed from closed ensemble into an open urban fabric thanks to the demolishing of city walls. This act offered a unique possibility  for creating monumental townscapes, just in close neighbourhoods to historical mediaeval centres. The cities of Habsburg Empire undertook this action relative late, especial the capital Vienna. 1850-1870 the famous urban fabric of the Wiener Ring was created with elegant palaces and public buildings (type: ring road). Some decades later, the second capital of the monarchy, Budapest established a circlet system too, however not with as representative buildings but with a vivid urban life with apartment houses.
The presentation wants to discuss the following question: how did the regional towns of the monarchy like Brno (CZ), Timisoara (RO), Kosice (SK) or Szeged (HU) take / adapted or implemented the patterns from the capitals?
Although these towns created a similar ring or circlet system as the capitals, but the following one or other capital led to the implementation of different urban planning habits: Szeged adapted the patterns of Budapest (“little Budapest”); Brno’s or Timisoara”s rings are definitely the same as in Vienna (“little Vienna”). Kosice followed at first the patterns of Vienna, later oriented itself to Budapest and the planning concept was changed.

Adrian Mitter (University of Toronto/Herder Institute): Danzig - From Emerging City to City-State: Performance of Unwanted Statehood and Germanization of Urban Heritage in a European Borderland

The Treaty of Versailles created multiple new transnational spaces in the European borderlands. The most significant example for this practice was probably the establishment of the Free City of Danzig on the shores of the Baltic Sea between Germany and Poland. The emerging port city of Danzig became a city-state with local autonomy and was supervised by the League of Nations. Available scholarship usually describes the Free City as a place of stagnation, a place of social and economic decline. This bleak picture is only slowly put into question by more recent studies. At a first glance statehood did not change Danzig as an urban landscape. Unlike the builders of the rapidly growing and distinctively modern rival port city of Gdynia, Danzig officials did not initiate any extensive new construction projects.  This, however, did not mean that urban development in Danzig stagnated. Statehood created new opportunities for the management and configuration of urban space and enabled local actors to overcome administrative and financial limitations from the center. After World War I immense effort was put into the preservation and renovation of heritage buildings. This heavily politicized practice served to secure the allegedly historical German character of the city, to manifest Danzig’s connection to the German motherland and as a protest against the unwanted statehood. Similarly, transnational aspects of Danzig’s past as a multi-ethnic merchant city and Polish gate to the Baltic were downplayed or entirely erased.
A study of cultural heritage management and urban planning in interwar Danzig reveals how local actors in an emerging city demonstratively refrained from modernization and transnational exchange. Instead they used nationalist sentiments to strengthen local structures and to advance their professional positions.

The Uses and Abuses of the Past in the Baltic States

The 12th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe (CBSE) aims to reflect on the past, present and future of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 99 years after their declarations of independence.

Conference Webpage: https://cbse2017.lu.lv

Panel mit Beteiligung des Herder-Instituts: 21.6., 9.00-10.30 Uhr

Chair: Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe)

Karsten Brüggemann (University of Tallinn)  “We finally defeated our historical enemy”. The Battle of Cēsis in June 1919 and the Celebration of Victory Day in Estonia, 1934-1940

Dennis Hormuth (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe) Daugava – Latvias National Symbol against Heteronomy

Tilman Plath (Ernst Moritz Arndt-University Greifswald) Uncomfortable Heroes – Comparing Thoughts about Latvian Riflemen and SS-Legionnaires in Latvias Culture of Memory 1920-2017

Klaus Richter (University of Birmingham) Historical blueprints in the post-Soviet transformation of the Baltic States

BASEES Annual Conference, Cambridge 31 March - 2 April 2017

Panels mit Beteiligung des Herder-Instituts:

Friday, 31st of March, 13:45-15:15 SESSION 1

1.8. History: Building and Implementing the Soviet Future
Chair: tbc
Papers: Antony Kalashnikov (University of Oxford): ‘Building for eternity: the orientation of Stalinist monumental art and architecture towards a future audience’
Polly Corrigan (King’s College): ‘The Soviet security service in the 1930s: a re-examination of domestic activity’
Giovanni Cadioli (University of Oxford): ‘Soviet economic thought and economic policy in the 1940s. Influence on 1950s-1960s reforms.’
Eszter Gantner (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe): ‘The Soviet in city – Urban visions of the Soviet Republic in Budapest 1919’

Saturday, 1st of April, 16:00-17:30: SESSION 6

6.12. History: Being Peripheral? Being Modern? Urban Perceptions and Self-Perceptions in Eastern Europe before WWI
Chair: Eszter Gantner (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe)
Papers: Eszter Gantner (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe): ‘Exhibiting Modernity – The national exhibition in Budapest 1885’
Anna Mazanik (Central European University): ‘Backwardness invented and overcome:Temporalities of urban reforms in Moscow’
Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder-Institute on East Central Europe): ‘Lviv as the Polish Spare Capital and Bulwark against the East’
Discussant: Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder-Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe)

» Tagungswebseite

Reform and Revolution in Europe, 1917-19: Entangled and Transnational Histories, Tampere 16-18 March 2017

Panel mit Beteiligung des Herder-Instituts:

Saturday, March 18th 2017, 10.15–11.45

Postimperial and postrevolutionary visions: The Finno-Ugrian nation states and their imagined geographies after 1918
Chair: Anssi Halmesvirta
Sommer, Lukasz: Political uses of linguistic kinship: Pan-Finno-Ugrist concepts in Finland and Estonia after 1918
Okabe, Takehiro: Greater Finland as a post-empire phenomenon: Making Finno-Ugric Studies national and international in Finland and Soviet Russia
Gantner, Eszter: “Placemaking” and Identity: The emergence of the political Turanism as a transnational vision after 1918

» Tagungswebseite

Vierter Kongress Polenforschung "Grenzen im Fluss", Frankfurt (Oder)/Słubice 23. bis 26. März 2017

Panel mit Beteiligung des Herder-Instituts:

Samstag, 25. März 2017, 16.30-18.30 Uhr, Sektion 24 (Saal A)
Grenzen der Sicherheit? Praktiken und Diskurse über Staat, Nation und Gesellschaft in der Zweiten Republik
Heidi Hein-Kircher: Einleitung
Natali Stegmann: Sozialpolitische Institutionen im Übergang: Polen in den frühen 1920er Jahren
Heidi Hein-Kircher: Nach der Wiedergeburt. Verpasste Konsolidierung und Versicherheitlichungsdiskurse in der Frühphase der Zweiten Republik
Sebastian Paul: Gefährliche Nachbarschaft? Die ukrainische Minderheit als internationales Sicherheitsproblem
Felix Heinert: Grenzen der Sicherheit vor Ort: Antistaatliche und antijüdische Gewalt sowie die ukrainische Nation als diskursive Argumente im öffentlichen Raum. Am Beispiel der Region Stanisławów in den 1930er Jahren

» Tagungswebseite


AABS Conference 2016 - Global, Glocal, and Local: Distinction and Interconnection in the Baltic States, Philadelphia 26.-28. Mai

Panels mit Beteiligung des Herder-Instituts:

The Baltic German Experience: New Perspectives
Chair: Bradley Woodworth (University of New Haven/Yale University)
Viktors Dāboliņš (Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation), “The Making of History: Livonian Coin Collectors from the Late Seventeenth Century to the Mid-Eighteenth Century”
Feliks Gornischeff (University of Tartu), “The Baltic Germans in the Diplomatic Service of the Russian Empire During the Reign of Alexander I (1801-1825)”
Peter Wörster (Herder-Institut, Marburg) “Residential Town Between Königsberg and St. Petersburg: Mitau, the Ducal Court, and Its Aftermath”
Dorothee Goeze (Herder-Institut, Marburg), “Nobility at Home: Heredity and the Task of the Nobility in the Baltic”

Soviet Actions and Institutions of Oppression, Social and Information Control
Chair: Ieva Zake (The College of New Jersey)
Respondent: Melissa Chakars (Saint Joseph’s University)
Edgars Engīzers (Baltic International Academy), “Latvia in the Shadow of Soviet Military Bases”
Rosario Napolitano (Universita degli Studi di Napoli “l’Orientale”), “The KGB Building in Latvia: The Years of Fear”
Jürgen Warmbrunn (Herder-Institut, Marburg), “Libraries and Politics in Latvia, Czechoslovakia and Poland after 1945”
Edward Cohn (Grinnell College), “Prophylactic Policing and the KGB’s Struggle with the Baltic Dissident Movement in the 1970s and 1980s”

Emerging Cities and Their Know-How: Infrastructures of Supply and Communication in Baltic Cities, Late Eighteenth Century to the Present
Chair: Ivars Ījabs (University of Latvia)
Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder-Institut, Marburg), “Emerging Cities in the Baltic Region Between Best Practices and National Movements”
Eszter Gantner (Herder-Institut, Marburg), “Transferring Best Practices: Eliel Saarinen Between Tallinn, Helsinki and Budapest, 1900-1914”
Emilia Karppinen (University of Turku), “Renegotiating Planning Practices: Mapping Out the Future of Helsinki (1910-1918)”
Vaike Haas (West Virginia University), “Marks on the City: Colonization, Planning, and Coastline Emergence in Tallinn, Estonia”

Resilient Europe? 23rd International Conference of Europeanists, Philadelphia 14.-16. April 2016

Panel mit Beteiligung des Herder-Instituts:

The “Double” Transformation. New Perspectives on East Central European Nationalizing and Democratizing States between the Two World Wars

Chair: Steffen Kailitz, Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism

Through the Lense of Gender and Ethnicity: Highlighting Dynamics of Democratization and Nationalization in the Second Polish Republic.
Angelique Leszczawski-Schwerk, TU Dresden

Bringing Democracy to the Eastern Borderland. The Failed Parliamentary Election of 1920 in Multiethnic Czechoslovak Ruthenia.
Sebastian Paul, Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe

Popular Violence from the War to Postwar Era. Czechoslovakia and Austria in 1918-1922
Ota Konrád, University of Prag

Social Justice and National Diversity: The Case of War Invalids in Poland
Natali Stegman, University of Regensburg

Property Redistribution and Democracy in Poland and the Baltics
Klaus Richter, University of Birmingham

Discussant: Heidi Hein-Kircher, Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe