59th International Academic Week

Memory Cultures since 1945: German-Southeast European Entangled History

    Due to the hybrid format of the conference, there are still free places for online participation in certain panels. To participate online, please use the registration form on the right side of this page.

    Conference committee:

    • Christian Voss, Professor, Head of Department for South Slavic Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin
    • Sabina Ferhadbegović, Post-Doc Researcher, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
    • Kateřina Králová, Associate Professor, Charles University, Prague / Humboldt Research Fellow, Humboldt University of Berlin

    The International Academic Week is the Southeast Europe Association’s (Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft – SOG) annual key event to bring together early-career researchers (MA/ PhD/ Post-Doc levels) and experienced scholars from all over Europe and beyond to present and discuss their research on the region. This year’s conference is hosted by Prof. Dr. Christian Voss, Dr. Sabina Ferhadbegović, and A/Prof. Dr. Kateřina Králová and will focus on the topic of Memory Cultures since 1945. 

    The 59th International Academic Week will take place in cooperation with the Akademie für Politische Bildung at the beautiful Lake Starnberg in Tutzing and in parts online. 

    Conference Programme

    MONDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2021 

    Welcome Adresses

    Beate Winterer, Academy for Civic Education, Tutzing
    Manuel Sarrazin, MP, President of the Southeast Europe Association, Berlin

    Award Ceremony

    Award for best Master Thesis in Southeast European Studies

    Award Winner

    Moritz Müller, Humboldt University of Berlin: Der ewige Augenblick – Ismet Prcics Shards und die Gegenwart des Krieges


    Franz-Lothar Altmann, Assoc. Prof., Member of the Board of the Southeast Europe Association, Munich

    Opening Panel

    Sabina Ferhadbegović, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
    Kateřina Králová, Charles University, Prague
    Christian Voss, Humboldt University of Berlin

    18:00 - 18:45

    Ljiljana Radonić, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna: Europeanization of Central and Southeast European WWII Memory Cultures


    09:00 - 10:30
    Panel I: Memory Cultures during the Cold War

    The dealing with the World War II past has been influenced in the aftermath by the East-West polarization during the Cold War and the inclusion of Southeast Europe into the communist social experiment. The focus on the 1950s-1980s shall carve out the discursive predispositions in different socialist countries (case studies from Albania, Russia/Ukraine, and Romania) that influenced bi- and international agreements as well as textbook policy and national cultures of remembrance.


    Ljiljana Radonić, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna


    • Artan Puto, Tirana State University: Myths and memory in communist Albania (1944-1990): Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbej and Enver Hoxha
    • Jan Claas Behrends, Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam: Remembering “the Great Patriotic War” in Soviet Russia and Ukraine
    • Melinda Harlov-Csortán, Institute of Advanced Studies, Kőszeg: Memory culture during the Cold War period: Is Hungary any different?

    11:00 - 12:00

    Ioannis Stylianidis, Heidelberg College for Jewish Studies / University of Heidelberg


    • Zoltán Tibori-Szabó, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca: Memorialization of the Holocaust in Transylvania during the early post-war period
    • Nikola Karasová, Charles University, Prague: The memory of Greek civil war refugees in Czechoslovakia: Conflicting narratives, differing interpretations

    13:30 - 14:00

    Ioannis Stylianidis


    • Francesco Trupia, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń: Edinstvo (“Unity”) and the Oriental: The duality of (post-)coloniality in communist Bulgaria

    14:00 – 15:30
    Panel II: World War II: The Yugoslav Legacy

    In the communists’ founding myth, the Yugoslav people rose not only against the occupiers during World War II. They also overturned the “bourgeois system” and carried out a revolution. Two dominant narratives of Socialist Yugoslavia - the image of “Brotherhood and Unity” of the Yugoslav population and the narrative of the “people’s liberation movement” – have their origin in World War II. In this panel, we intend to discuss how the remembrance of World War II was used to enforce and legitimize social and political developments in Yugoslavia.


    Franziska Zaugg, University of Bern


    • Jelena Batinić, Stanford University: Women and Yugoslav partisans: Mass mobilization, revolution, legacy
    • Tea Sindbaek Andersen, University of Copenhagen: Usable history? Representations of Yugoslavia’s difficult past from 1945 to 2000
    • Heike Karge, University of Regensburg: "We are Tito, Tito is ours". Remembering the Second World War in Tito-Yugoslavia

    16:00 – 17:30

    Zoltán Tibori-Szabó, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca


    • Vukašin Zorić, University of Belgrade: Supporting liberation, exporting revolution: The role of memory in the cooperation between SUBNOR, the Third World veteran and anti-colonial organizations
    • Roswitha Kersten-Pejanić, University of Rijeka: Lands of (banal) nationalism: Epistemological issues in the classification of nationalism(s) in a post-conflict semiotic landscape
    • Vladimir Đorđević, Mendel University, Brno: Contemporary far-right in the post-Yugoslav space: Croats as defenders of Christian European vs. Serbs as ultimate anti-European

    17:30 – 18:00
    Mini-Workshop: Social Media as a Tool for Science Communication

    Held by Aleksandra Salamurović, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, and Zsófia Turóczy, Leipzig University. The first part of the workshop will be available for all those interested jointly in the conference hall. The second part will be split and held for the different dinner-groups separately. 

    19:30 – 21:30
    Poster Session

    • Antonio Grgić, Graz University of Technology: The Yugoslav monumental memorial ensembles to WWII as pseudo-religious architectural typology
    • Michael Ilg, University of Augsburg: Bratstvo i Jevrejstvo. Holocaust memorials in Bosnia and Hercegovina
    • Nataša Jagdhuhn, Berlin: Broken museality. Reframing World War II heritage in the post-Yugoslav transition
    • Michał Kucharski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań: Croatian policies of remembrance towards the memory of the German-speaking community in Slavonia after 1990
    • Claudia Mayr-Veselinović, University of Graz: Brotherhood, unity and Pionirska
    • Mehdi Sejdiu, Heidelberg University: The cultural memory of names in creating a collective identity in Kosovo
    • Ioannis Stylianidis, Heidelberg College for Jewish Studies / University of Heidelberg: Confronting amnesia culture in Greece: Post-Holocaust reflections on the desecrations of the Jewish cultural heritage
    • Anjeza Xhaferaj, European University of Tirana: Making and breaking friends – discursive strategies of Albania during communism


    Panel III: The Holocaust and Genocides

    When in 1944 Raphael Lemkin introduced the term genocide in his book on the Axis powers in Europe, he was also thinking about Armenia in 1915. The term’s definition soon became part of the UN Genocide Convention. Often disputed academically but also widespread outside of historical research and Holocaust studies, in this panel we will discuss genocide not only theoretically but also interpreted within case studies on contested perpetrators and in the context of the Holocaust aftermath.


    Alexander Korb, University of Leicester


    • Emil Kerenji, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.: Holocaust and Holocaust survivors in the Balkans
    • Gaëlle Fisher, Center for Holocaust Studies, Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, Munich: Memory, justice, and belonging: The postwar narratives of Holocaust survivors from Bukovina
    • Annette Becker, Paris Nanterre University: Raphael Lemkin, the concept of genocide(s) and “the perpetuation of the psychological scar”

    10:30 - 12:00

    Kateřina Králová, Charles University, Prague


    • Esilda Luku, Aleksander Moisiu University of Durres: Memory of the Holocaust: A content analysis of history textbooks for secondary education in Albania        
    • Mihaela Gligor, Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca: Memories in writing. On the importance of correspondence for recovering the history
    • Nadège Ragaru, Sciences Po Paris: The case of Bulgaria: Perpetrator or "righteous among the nations"?    

    Visit to the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism 



    Panel IV: Collaboration and Resistance

    The question of collaboration and complicity with the Axis powers, on the one hand, and the resistance against the occupation in the respective Southeast European societies on the other hand is highly disputed until today. Often collaboration with occupying powers and local fascist organizations is glorified and exterritorialized without looking at the antisemitic, nationalist, or ideological origins in the respective states and their consequences. In this panel, we intend to discuss which developments and local premises led to which kind of collaboration with occupying powers and where resistance movements were established. 


    Sabina Ferhadbegović, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena


    • Alexander Korb, University of Leicester: Collaborators. A useful term?
    • Franziska Zaugg, University of Bern: Between collaboration and resistance. Muslims in Southeast Europe during the Second World War
    • Spyros Tsoutsoumpis, Lancaster University: Violence, masculinity, and war: Partisans in Greece

    11:00 - 12:00

    Vukašin Zorić, University of Belgrade


    • Arban Mehmeti, Charles University Prag: The memory culture in the post-war period in Kosova: the impact on the present relations among Kosovars and Serbs
    • Alexios Ntetorakis-Exarchou, Humboldt University of Berlin: Victims, bystanders, collaborators. Refugees from the Bulgarian Occupation Zone in Thessaloniki during the Holocaust 

    13:30 – 15:00
    Panel V: Criminal Prosecution, Reparations, Lustration

    Dealing with the crimes of the Second World War established both new legal frameworks and new discursive approaches. The subsequent disputes in the Cold War context and beyond will be the focus of this panel. We will discuss not only international and bilateral political agreements but also their local implications in Southeastern Europe.


    Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Lund University


    • Florian Jeßberger, Humboldt University of Berlin: International criminal law: From Nuremberg to The Hague
    • Sabina Ferhadbegović, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena: From United Nations War Crimes Commission to war crimes trials. The Prosecution of Nazi crimes in South-Eastern Europe
    • Kateřina Králová, Charles University, Prague: The History of German-Greek relations after 1945

    15:30 – 17:00

    Nikola Karasová, Charles University, Prague


    • Emmanouil Peponas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens: Vigilantism and vendetta in post-war Crete: the case of Krousonas (1945)
    • Eriona Vadinaj, Luigj Gurakuqi University of Shkodra: The necessity of a lustration law after the communist regime in Albania
    • Johanna Paul, Bielefeld University: Transnational memory activism against genocide denial: Protesting the Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke

    Film evening

    Film "Don't turn around, my son" (Director: Branko Bauer, 1956) with discussion.
    Marija Vulesica, Humboldt University of Berlin: Introduction into the Yugoslav film

    FRIDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2021

    Panel VI: Current Right-Wing Populism and Cultures of Remembrance 

    In this final panel, the panelists will compare similarities and differences of top-down approaches of political actors across East and Southeast Europe. They will discuss the comparability of the presented case-studies and how civil society and academia face these challenges towards liberal democracy.


    Tea Sindbaek Andersen, University of Copenhagen 


    • Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Lund University: Populist memory discourses in contemporary East Central and South Eastern Europe. Roots, main themes, and features
    • Ferenc Laczó, Maastricht University: Historical revisionism and its challengers. On Hungarian politics of history today
    • Nuri Korkmaz, Bursa Technical University: Populism in Bulgaria as a tool in the hands of the nationalists

    11:00 - 12:00

    Christian Voss, Humboldt University of Berlin


    • Jelena Đureinović, University of Vienna: Populism and transformations of post-socialist memory politics: The case of Serbia
    • Andreea Zamfira, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu: The German minority, memory entrepreneurs and cultures of remembrance in democratic Romania: A study based on the archives of the public television

    12:00 End of the conference