Rethinking Europe in the 20th century: Transformations of Borders

Rethinking Europe in the 20th century: Transformations of Borders

Historia Europeana
Czech Republic
From - Until
10.04.2013 - 11.04.2013
Svoboda, Petr

The second conference: Thinking Europe in the 20th century, which takes place 10th and 11th April 2013 is called Transformations of Borders. It is linked to our last Ph.D. candidates' scientific conference which dealt with 20th century European history. Here will be presented papers that are specialized in transformations, changes and shifts of borders not only in the geopolitical sense but in the social, cultural and economical sense, as well. We understand the transformation of borders in the way of their formation and demise, move and overcrossing – all that in the international context. In general, we would like to grasp a process of changeability of borders and how the changes are perceived by a society. A focus of all presentation papers should be on the causes, impacts and influence of these changes over historical development during 20th century European history (especially in years 1900–1989).


April 10, 2013
10:00-11:30 Presentation of participants
11:20-11:50 Opening ceremony with Prof. Dr. Jiří Malíř, CSc. Mgr. Václav Božek, CSc. Mgr. Jaroslav Kadlec
11:50-12:00 Introductory word: Dr. Vladimír Goněc

A/1:The Formation of Borders in Central and Eastern Europe I
Moderators: Jaroslav Kadlec, Alexandra Řeháková

12:00: Štefánia Kováčová (University of Prose): The Formation of Ukrainian Border between 1917–1921 in Interaction with Political Development
The end of the First World War was marked by a creation of new states and a desire for independence. Such countries included Ukraine. Before the First World War, the territory of Ukraine was divided among several states. In the individual parts of Ukrainian territory, there were gradually established political authorities promoting the requirements of Ukrainian nation. One of the ideas of Ukrainian politicians was the creation of integrated independent Ukraine. The formation of these political unifying processes for the independence became a priority in the Ukrainian national movement in the years 1917–1921.

12:20: Luciána Hoptová (University of Presov): The Formation of Belorussian Border between 1919–1921
The Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was officially declared on the 1st January 1919 and afterwards was joined together with the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Russian – Polish war was a new international factor which affected the developing of common federative union – Lithuanian- Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic declared on 27th February 1919. The military conflict of an international character had an impact on the domestic policy of Belarus and resulted in the division of Belarus in two parts. Soviet Socialist Republic was restored again in the eastern part of Belarus and the western part became the part of Poland. The goal of this paper is to provide an analysis of the development of domestic policy of Belarus in 1919–1921 with an emphasis on the formation of the state borders of Belarus.

12:40: Tomáš Řepa (Masaryk University Brno):
The Transfers of Nations of Eastern Europe after the Second World War and their Impact on the Movement of 'Banderovci'
The ethnic situation in Eastern Europe after the Second World War was very confusing. After end of the war Europe was exhausted, individual states have gained new boundaries, depending on how the battle situation has evolved at the very end of the war. This condition, however, did not reflect the deployment of national minorities in Eastern Europe, because there was a further strife and bloodshed. Mainly Ukrainian nationalists had no intention to accept the new borders and did battle with Poland and the Soviet Union for the creation of an independent Ukraine. Radical solution various conflicts has been solved by speedily removal of ethnic minorities of Ukrainians, Poles and Ruthenians. And this issue is main topic of this paper.

13:00: Denis Žernov (Charles University Prague): The Ukraine – Rethinking Borders
This paper shows the problems in establishing of Ukrainian borders and pinpointstheperceptionandtheroleoftheborderlinesinthestate-building process. Firstly, we use a historical approach for understanding the differences of two parts of Ukraine – the West and the East (including the euro- integration efforts of the West and the post-soviet integration efforts of the East). Secondly, we deal with cultural and mental borders which shape the contemporary state-building Ukrainian identities. We conclude that incorrectly drawn borders can restrain development of states especially the newborn ones – this is the case of Ukraine.

13:20-14:00 Discussion

A/2: The Formation of Borders in Central and Eastern Europe II
Moderators: Jiří Pokorný, Věra Bystrianská

14:15: Agata Matysiok (Opole University): The Polish – Slovak Border in Polish Historiography
The article shows how Polish historiography presents the Polish – Slovak relations according to the problem of the border. The author tries to draw a picture of Polish – Slovak border’s conflicts. She writes about political and social aspects of the conflicts, like the problem of families, schools, administration, etc. The article focuses mainly on the first half of the 20th century. It also shows how Polish historiography describes the results of the conflicts.

14:35: Pawel Markiewicz (Jagiellonian Univeristy Krakow): The Reaction of US Polonia to the Handling of the “Polish Question,” 1939–1945
The focus of my work will be the reaction of the Polish-American community, an ethnic community which numbered some 6 million during the war, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s handling of the Polish territorial issue and changes during World War II. What emerged were three Polish camps which lobbied Roosevelt regarding Poland. Within the Polish- American community, a small group of pro-leftist Poles grew and were quickly regarded as the group which most closely represented the interests of all Polish-Americans, particularly because they believed that the post-war Polish state had no authority to territory in the east (with centres in Vilnius and Lwow) – very similar to Stalin’s outlook of any post-war Polish state. However, in order to garner the support of Polish-American voters, Roosevelt continued to ensure Polish-Americans that Poland would emerge from the war ‘undiminished,’ which to them was the equivalent of the pre- war Polish state.

14:55-15:15: Discussion

15:20: Jaroslav Kadlec (Masaryk University Brno): The Dmowski’s Line and the Teschen Question
At the end of the First World War was evident, that there will restoration of Polish State, but no one knew exactly, which areas should be included in its frontiers. The only person who had a vision of Polish frontiers was Roman Dmowski. He supported the conception of so called Great Poland, popularly as The Dmowski’s Line. Within this Line was also set greater part of the Principality of Teschen, which was claimed by the Czechoslovakia too. The paper will focus on the problematic parts of a conception of the Dmowski’s Line, then how Dmowski regarded as the territory of Principality of Teschen and how he characterized the Czechs or how he looked at the cooperation between Czechoslovakia and Poland after the war.

15:40: Aleš Binar (University of Defence Brno): Hlučín, Hlubčice and Ratiboř Regions in Czechoslovak-Polish Relations 1945–1947
This paper deals with regions in Upper Silesia and their position within Czechoslovak-Polish relationship in 1945 to 1947 with emphasis on development in the second half of year 1945. The study is based on a concept that there is the complementary binding between regions and diplomacy. That is why this paper attempts to blend regional approach with interpretation of international relations as diplomatic stakes. Both comprise constitutive elements of trans-national relationship. On both levels is on the one hand analysed “narrative” of spatial/state frontiers and ethnic borders in situation of their questioning and on the other hand political discourse, especially elements of legitimization of territorial demands.

16:00-16:20 Discussion

B: At the Periphery. Where are Borders of Europe?
Moderators: Denisa Nečasová, Ondřej Haváč

16:30 Jana Musilová (Masaryk University Brno): The Emergency of the Republic of Turkey: the Transformation, Secularization, Modernization and the Influence of the West
In 1923, the Turkish Republic was founded and distanced itself from all what represented the old and bygone regime, respectively from what was represented by the Ottoman Empire. The emergence of the Republic of Turkey had shifted the border, not only in term of geography, but also in terms of political, legal, economic and even cultural and all this on an international scale. The emergence of Turkey represented not only the transformation of geographic boundaries but also a transformation of the legal system of the country (the Swiss model: the Civil Code 1926, Italian model: the Criminal Code and the German model: the Commercial Code). The adoption of further pro-western reforms had supported the moder- nization and deepening secularization. The emergence of the Republic of Turkey can be regarded as a fundamental shift in the boundaries, as well geopolitical, social and economic, and cultural.

16:50: Benjamin Tallis (Anglo-American University Prague): The Moveable East: Lines, Traces and Tidemarks in the Borderscapes of the Enlarged EU & the ‘Eastern Neighbourhood’
As borders have slipped their national-territorial leash it has become necessary to rethink the ways that we imagine them, where we look for them and how we understand the spatial, temporal and social powers that create and contest them and which they operationalise. However, borders still take place, although not necessarily over the same duration or with the same materiality that they were classically imagined to have. Following Sarah Green’s (2009) conceptualisation of borders in various forms, this paper draws on ethnographic fieldwork to identify “Lines, Traces & Tidemarks” in the Borderscapes of the enlarged EU & its ‘East’ and how these have been shaped by the very present pasts of histories and memories of the 20th century.

17:10-17:30 Discussions

17:35: Jiří Pokorný (Masaryk University Brno): The Limits of the European Identity and Norway
The determining factor whether a country could be considered as a part of the larger geopolitical entity, in this case Europe, is not only its geographical location, but also the solidarity of the population of the country with the idea of such an affiliation. Norway successfully applied for the membership of the EEC already in 1961 referred to the article 237 of the Treaty establishing the EEC where is quoted: "Any European State may apply to become a member of the Community." Thus was Norway clearly specified as European state. Nevertheless, do the Norwegians feel themselves as part of Europe? Where do they see Europe's borders, and where do they assign their country? The conference paper will focus on building and the removal of borders in Europe and the two the perceptions of belonging to the geo-political or cultural-historical entity.

17:55: Jitka Jindřišková (Masaryk University Brno): The Vietnam War in the Norwegian Culture – A Cross-border Issue
The paper The Vietnam War in the Norwegian Culture – A Cross-border Issue deals with the image of the Vietnam War in the Norwegian culture of sixties and seventies. This period in Norway, as in other countries of the West, is connected with the protest movement of mostly young people, who rose a revolt against the older generations and criticized the foreign policy of superpowers, especially the U. S. The strongest protests were related to the Norwegian membership in NATO, nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War. An important part of the protest movement was the cultural scene, through which the young generation expressed its opinions and feelings. The paper chooses a subtopic – the Vietnam War – to show the cohesion of the different elements of culture (literature, visual art, music, film). The outline of the situation in other Western countries enables to think of the Norwegian case in the international context.

18:15-18:25 Discussions

April 11, 2013
C: Borders that Divide and Unite
Moderators: Adrian Portmann, Lenka Pokorná Korytarová

9:00: Mgr. Tibor Dohnanec (University of Presov): The Town divided by borderline. The Life of town of Komarno from the end of WWI to the 1st of July 1919
Only a few towns in Slovakia have such a great history such as Komarno. The Komarno castle, in the latter times a system of fortifications, has played a key role during the historical development. The lecture is focused on the events in Komarno after World War I. with the emphasis on the last fighting event, in which the system of fortifications played a part. After the end of WWI Danube should have been appointed as the natural border between ČSR and Hungary, thus the town of Komarno as well as the system of fortifications should have been split into two halves. In this paper I would like to introduce events in the town during the period of 1918–1919 (from the end of WWI to the sighing of the ceasefire of the ČSR and the Hungarian Soviet republic on the 1st of July) with the emphasis on the fighting on the new-formed border, mainly on the unsuccessful assault on Komarno in April/May of 1919.

9:20: Tomáš Bandžuch (Charles University Prague): The Independent Republic of Spiš – an Idea of the Switzerland in the Heart of the Slovakia
The aim of this paper is to interpret the unsuccessful attempt of the Slovakian Germans, who tried to create an independent state on territory of the Spiš district in 1918. This paper should concentrate on the measure of realism of this conception, which faced a military strength of the neighbouring countries as Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. Brief description of development of this state is also included. Conclusion contains evaluation of the effect of this attempt on the establishment of the Czechoslovakia and on the German irredentist movement.

9:40-10:00 Discussion

10:05: Michal Škerle (Masaryk University Brno): The Transformation of Borders in Czechoslovak Legislation after February 1948
The paper presents transformation of the legal perception of the state borders in Czechoslovak legislature in the period after 1948, with all the consequences that affected its permeability and its appearance. This paper will focus mainly on the relationship of citizens and national borders, i.e. how to get over it, what the citizens could do for it and how difficult it was. Soon after 1948 many things changed compared to conditions of the first Republic of Czechoslovakia. The totalitarian regime gradually began to preclude common border crossings and so residents of Czechoslovakia became prisoners in their own country. Besides the form of borders the paper will mainly focus on illegal crossing of the borders, as it was characterized in the Criminal Law.

10:25: Ondřej Haváč (Masaryk University Brno): Home Abroad: Czechs in Vienna – in the front of the Iron Curtain
This paper deals with a topic which seemingly doesn't bear relation to the topic of the conference: borders and its transformation. The main question of the paper is how people, who were forced (or decided) to leave their homeland after the Soviet invasion in 1968, perceived their new home in the Austrian capital. This group of people (at least some of their members who successfully integrated into Austrian society) serves as an example whereon psychological aspects of emigration and following integration are displayed. What “home” meant for Czechs living in Vienna and where it was? Was it really across the border?

10:45: Martin Hromek (Masaryk University Brno): Frenchmen in Czechoslovakia in 1963. The Symbolism of Visits of Personalities in International Relations
At the end of 1963, Czechoslovakia reconsidered its denying of a conclusion of any treaty with France in the area of culture. In this period there was a significant shift in the French-Czechoslovak cultural relations. In addition to the analysis of the political context of this change, the paper attempts to evaluate the importance of the visits of French intellectuals (Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Garaudy) and other personalities (Maurice Bokanowski) in foreign cultural policy of Czechoslovakia and in the cultural life of the country during the Cold War.

11:05-11:35 Discussion

D/1: Real and Fictive Borders of Southeastern Europe I
Moderators: Jana Hrabcová, Petr Stehlík

13:00: Petar Bagarić (University of Zagreb): Competing for Control over the City of Pula 1945–1947 – the Struggle between Italy, Yugoslavia and Allied Military Government
The paper focuses on the city of Pula and its status in the period 1945–47. Italy, Yugoslavia and Allied Military Government (run by US and UK) were the three main players competing for control over the city. Their efforts to gain control over the city will be presented. The paper follows the shifting borders and their impact through first Yugoslav occupation in May/June 1945, Allied military occupation between June 1945 and September 1947 and final transfer of the city to Yugoslavia based on the Paris Peace Treaty. Ethnic, economic and political relations in the city and their correlation with shifting border are taken into account and explained.

13:20: Lidija Barišić Bogišić (University of Zagreb): The Others in the Kingdom of SHS
The breakup of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918 led to a creation of the new states in Europe. In Southeast Europe was created the state with South Slavic character - the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians/Yugoslavia, as a reaction to the attempts of germanization and hungarization. The new state created on the base of the „South Slavic chauvinism“, broke up the existing social and cultural relations in the mixed communities. What effects had newly formed state on the nationalities that were not included into proclaimed „ three names of the same tribe people“, will be analyzed in a trace analysis of one very ethnic and confessional mixed area in Croatia, administrative district of Vukovar in Syrmia (1918–1920).

13:40: Milan Balaban (Masaryk University Brno/ University of Banjaluka): Changes of Borders after WWI and its Influence on Economic Exchange among newly Emerged Countries of Former Austro-Hungary
After the World War I economic space of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire was fragmented into several states. Industry which was made for the Empire of 50 millions of inhabitants, as for example the industry in Czech lands, ended up in the small state which was cut off from goods and raw materials of the main markets. Following the example of Czechoslovakia and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians (later Kingdom of Yugoslavia) we want to deal in our paper with a question: how the states and markets adjusted for the new circumstances and how this economic space and cooperation recovered and existed during the interwar period?

14:00-14:30 Discussions

14:35: Uroš Lazarević (Charles University Prague): Yugoslavia: After the Dream. Imaginary Borders and Future Wars
A dream of the unity of the South Slavs found its first expression in 1918 with the birth of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, but ended in blood spread of the Second World War in 1941. Yugoslavia was resurrected in 1945 and rebuilt as the communist state. The downfall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and following collapse of the Soviet Union triggered a chain reaction across the communist world, including Yugoslavia. The dissolution of the Yugoslav state and ensuing civil wars for imaginary borders resulted in new geopolitical reality of today, which however does appear to be a phase of an unfinished process.

14:35: Anamarija Lukić (Ivo Pilar Osijek): Catholic Parishes of northern Slavonia and southern Baranja between two Dioceses
After the liberation from the Turks the catholic parishes in northern Slavonia and southern Baranja region which belonged administratively to the Diocese of Pécs. However, because of their geographical position and ethnic conditions these parishes were more connected to the Diocese of Đakovo or Bosnia and Srijem. The issue of incorporating these parishes was initiated in 1852 by bishop Strossmayer (but it was just particularly solved) after the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians and after the change of the state border. After introducing the apostolic administrations in 1923, northern Slavonia and southern Baranja region was de iure incorporated to the diocese of Đakovo or Bosnia and Srijem in 1972.

15:15-15:35 Discussion

D/2: Real and Fictive Borders of Southeastern Europe II
Moderators: Martin Hromek, Petr Svoboda, Petr Stehlík

15:45: Hana Hlaváčová (Metropolitan University Prague) / Vladimír Naxera (University of West Bohemia Pilsen): Slovenia and Central Europe
In the case of Slovenia we can study such movements which we can call shifts of mental boundaries. Within this Slovenia has been moving towards the region of Central Europe more than ever before. The very region Central Europe has changed during 20th century. At its beginning Slovenia entered Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the First World War Slovenia joined kingdom of Yugoslavia, which were changed into Socialistic Yugoslavia. After the fall of this federation Slovenia has started long run into European Union and its shift towards region of Central Europe.

16:05: Jana Hrabcová (Masaryk University Brno): Border Disputes between Italy and Yugoslavia as one of the Problems of European International Politics during the Interwar Period
The paper is focused on the issue of a border dispute between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) during the interwar period. This bilateral dispute had a number of causes and consequences, not only in domestic but also in international politics. This paper aims to map the development of Italian-Yugoslavian border dispute, to show how this dispute was influenced by the Great Powers and the Allies, and to analyze its impact on international policy in Europe in the period between the two world wars.

16:25: Martin Mejstřík (Charles University Prague): Free Territory of Trieste and its Strategic Role at the Beginning of the Cold War
The paper deals with the formation of the Free Territory of Trieste after the World War Two and analyzes its development and influence on international affairs at the beginning of the Cold War. The creation of the zones A and B under the administration of the UN Security Council and based on the original proposal of British general Morgan will be described. The division between Italy and Yugoslavia will be also analysed, firstly in 1954 by the Memorandum of Understanding of London and afterwards definitively in 1974 by the Treaty of Osimo. It will show the significantly strategical value of the territory of Terst as the most important port in the Adriatic for both rival countries. We analyze the role of the great powers in this process, especially the United States and Great Britain. A part of the paper will be also dedicated to the functioning of the administration of the Free Territory (1947–1954).

16:45-17:15: Discussion

17:20-17:30: Closing Ceremony: Lenka Pokorná Korytarová

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