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Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through...

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Join us in Exeter for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage...

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Category: Romania

Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through Anthem Press.

This collection of essays addresses institutions that develop the concept of collaboration, and examines the function, social representation and history of secret police archives and institutes of national memory that create these histories of collaboration. The essays provide a comparative account of collaboration/participation across differing categories of collaborators and different social milieux throughout East-Central Europe. They also demonstrate how secret police files can be used to produce more subtle social and cultural histories of the socialist dictatorships. By interrogating the ways in which post-socialist cultures produce the idea of, and knowledge about, “collaborators,” the contributing authors provide a nuanced historical conception of “collaboration,” expanding the concept toward broader frameworks of cooperation and political participation to facilitate a better understanding of Eastern European communist regimes.

Edited by Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth and James Mark, the essays are framed into three parts – Institutes, Secret Lives and Collaborating Communities and include topics such as the Stasi Records of the former GDR; memory in Latvia, Slovak and the Czech Republics; Tito and intellectuals 1945-80; entangled stories with the Former Securitate; Regional-level Party Activists in Slovakia and priest collaboration in Slovak Catholic memory after 1989.

“This excellent volume marks a genuine breakthrough in our knowledge about the everyday lives of the people who made up the secret police, of their motivations and their experiences. It challenges binary visions of the past and powerfully highlights the complexity of the term ‘collaboration.’ Ultimately, it makes a case for the human factor in the history of the repressive state.”
Ulf Brunnbauer, Director, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany

Table of Contents

Frameworks: Collaboration, Cooperation, Political Participation in the Communist Regimes
(The Editors)

Part 1: Institutes

Chapter 1: A Dissident Legacy, The ‘Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records of the Former GDR’ (BStU) in United Germany
(Bernd Schaefer)

Chapter 2: In Black and White? The Discourse on Polish Post-War Society by the Institute of Polish Remembrance
(Barbara Klich-Kluczewska)

Chapter 3: The Exempt Nation: Memory of Collaborationism in Contemporary Latvia
(Leva Zake)

Chapter 4: Institutes of Memory in the Slovak and Czech Republics – What Kind of Memory?
(Martin Kovanič)

Chapter 5: Closing the Past – Opening the Future. Hungarian Victims and Perpetrators of the Communist Regime
(Péter Apor and Sándor Horváth)

Chapter 6: To Collaborate and to Punish. Democracy and Transitional Justice in Romania
(Florin Abraham)

Part 2: Secret Lives

Chapter 7: ‘Resistance through Culture’ or ‘Connivance through Culture.’ Difficulties of Interpretation; Nuances, Errors, and Manipulations
(Gabriel Andreescu)

Chapter 8: Intellectuals between Collaboration and Independence. Politics and Everyday Life in the Prague Faculty of Arts in Late Socialism
(Matěj Spurný)

Chapter 9: Tito and Intellectuals – Collaboration and Support, 1945–1980
(Josip Mihaljević)

Chapter 10: Spy in the Underground. Polish Samizdat Stories
(Paweł Sowiński)

Chapter 11: Entangled Stories. On the Meaning of Collaboration with the Former Securitate
(Cristina Petrescu)

Part 3: Collaborating Communities

Chapter 12: Finding the Ways (around). Regional-level Party Activists in Slovakia
(Marína Zavacká)

Chapter 13: ‘But Who is the Party?’ History and Historiography in the Hungarian Communist Party
(Tamás Kende)

Chapter 14: Forgetting ‘Judas’. Priest Collaboration in Slovak Catholic Memory after 1989
(Agáta Drelová)

Chapter 15: Informing as Life-Style. Unofficial Collaborators of the Hungarian and the East-German State Security (Stasi) Working in the Tourism Sector
(Krisztina Slachta)

→ Order your copy through the Anthem Press website: Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Raluca Grosescu article on Judging Communist Crimes in Romania published

Raluca Grosescu’s latest article has been published in the International Journal of Transitional Justice. The article entitled Judging Communist Crimes in Romania: Transnational and Global Influences, shows how the current shifts in Romanian jurisprudence have been built upon, and have drawn inspiration from, a recent global convergence towards the use of ICL for addressing the crimes of dictatorial regimes and the obstacles to their prosecution, such as amnesties or statutory limitations.

Abstract

In 2016, over 25 years after the fall of the communist regime, the Romanian Supreme Court of Justice convicted for the first time two former military officials for political crimes perpetrated in the 1950s, the harshest repressive period of the previous dictatorship. The verdicts marked a radical break with the prior legal approaches to prosecuting communist crimes in this country inasmuch as international criminal law (ICL) was now employed in order to overcome impunity. This article shows how the current shifts in Romanian jurisprudence have been built upon, and have drawn inspiration from, a recent global convergence towards the use of ICL for addressing the crimes of dictatorial regimes and the obstacles to their prosecution, such as amnesties or statutory limitations. It emphasizes the importance of noncoercive exogenous influences in enabling changes in the Romanian process of dealing with the past.

→ Judging Communist Crimes in Romania: Transnational and Global Influences, International Journal of Transitional Justice

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Post-Doctoral Vacancy with PanEur1970s and EUI

The European University Institute (EUI) has a vacancy for a Research Assistant in the Department of History and Civilization working under the direction of Professor Frederico Romero as part of the PanEur1970s – Looking West: the European Socialist regimes facing pan-European cooperation and the European Community project.

The successful applicant will research into socialist Romania’s archives and other sources on elites’ views, policies and ideas on processes of European cooperation and integration in the 1970s. Full participation in the project activities, including publication of research papers and essays, participation in conferences and dissemination activities will be required.

Post-Doctoral Position in Romania and European Co-operation in the 1970s
24 months, full time (30/30) (anticipated start date September 2017)
Based in Florence
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 21/04/2017

The appointed candidate will receive a monthly net salary of approximately 1800 EUR + allowances if applicable (See Conditions of Employment)

Funding for research missions and participation to international conferences will also be provided.

The candidate will have a PhD in History (preferably international or economic history) or in a closely related discipline, as well as research experience on Romania’s archival records.

S/he will be fluent in Romanian and have good command of English.

Knowledge of other European languages may constitute an advantage but is not required.

How to apply

Applicants should read the Vacancy notice first. Applicants must fill in the on-line application form and upload documents as requested. Only applications submitted through the on line form will be accepted.

For more information contact: serena.belligoli@eui.eu

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