Assessing the Impact of World War II

on Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union

Princeton University

History Department, 211 Dickinson Hall

19-20 April 2013

Friday, April 19

2:00 pm        Welcome and opening remarks

2:30 pm      Engaging the State: Mobility and Rights

Natalie Belsky (University of Chicago): Emerging Discourse of Entitlement: Evacuees’ Letters to Soviet Authorities

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj (Arizona State University): Postwar Property Restitution in Comparative Perspective: Poland and Slovakia (1944-48)

Gaelle Fisher (University College London): The Akwardness of Germanness. German-speakers from Bukovina and the Legacies of the Second World War

Commentator: Kathryn Hendley (University of Wisconsin Law School)

4:30 pm       Responding to Change: Institutions and Continuity

Andru Chiorean (University of Nottingham): ‘Comrades, we are well on our way to take censorship to a superior level’. Organizational Culture and Work Practices in the Romanian Censorial Agencies, 1941-1953

Ana Antic (Columbia University): Mental Illness under Occupation. Psychiatric Revisions of ‘Normality’ and ‘Pathology’, 1941-1945

Clara Oberle (University of San Diego): Revolution from Abroad? Responses to the Housing Crisis in Berlin, 1945-48

Commentator: James Heinzen (Rowan University)

Saturday, April 20

9:00 am        Defining Home: Community and Belonging

Mirna Zakić (Ohio University): To Evacuate or Not: Volksdeutsche Choices and Their Consequences in the Serbian Banat in October 1944

Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv): Returns to a New Place. (Post-)War Experiences and Making Home in Soviet Lviv after 1944

Paul Lenormand (Sciences Po, Paris): Struggling for Privileges and Power. Veterans in Postwar Czechoslovakia

Commentator: Deborah Kaple (Princeton University)

11:00 am      Keynote speech

Kate Brown (University of Maryland at Baltimore County): When Will World War II Ever End? The Postwar Soviet “Nuclear Shield” and its Indelible Foot Print

2:00 pm        Building Communism: The Soviets and the Bloc

Rachel Applebaum (Lafayette College): Foundation or Fault Line of Empire? The Legacy of the Soviet Liberation of Czechoslovakia during the Thaw

Molly Pucci (Stanford University): Disorder in the Ranks: The Origins of the Secret Police

Nick Rutter (Yale University): Popular Front, Part Two? The Birth of Soviet-backed World Federations, 1945-1947

Commentator: Harold James (Princeton University)

4:00 pm        Narrating the War: Memory and Justice

Polly Zavadivker (University of California, Santa Cruz): “Events that are Evaporating Like Smoke”. The Black Book as Unofficial Civil Community and Memorial for Murdered Soviet Jewry, 1944-1946

Katarzyna Person (Center for Jewish History, New York): “Small Nuremberg”. Polish Memory of the Holocaust in the Trial of Jürgen Stroop

Alexis Peri (Middlebury College): Rewriting the Blockade, Refiguring the Self. The Revised Siege Diaries of Vera Inber

Commentator: Elidor Mehilli (University of Pennsylvania)


Papers will be precirculated. For information, please email

The conference is sponsored by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, History Department, Council of the Humanities, University Center for Human Values, Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies, Center for Collaborative History, Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

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