Report of the conference „The Second World War in Southeastern Europe“
Berlin 04. - 06. Oktober 2017
The conference is designed to mirror the state of the art of research on Southeastern Europe during the Second World War, and to formulate a future research agenda. Participants will discuss central issues with regard to this, rather neglected, European subregion, and work towards its better inclusion into European narratives. Central historical tropes of the war as it took place in Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania will be organized in two public debates/round tables, and in 4 panels for invited participants. Both war-induced processes and local specificities will be addressed, as well as the significance of these events in the context of European, if not global, interconnections. The history of the war has been revisited since the political changes of 1990; yet, the region still features very low in many German (and other international) museums, exhibitions, as well as generally in research.
The conference will start with a public discussion at the Foundation Topography of Terror about the place of Southeastern Europe in the history of the Second World War, followed the next day by a public debate on the contexts of the Holocaust in the region. The panels to the conference will take place at the Centre Marc Bloch. They will be clustered around the following core topics: An introductory panel will reflect on transnational aspects of occupation; the following three panels will be concerned with revisiting the meaning of resistance and collaboration through the lens of shifting loyalties as they occurred during the war; with supply regimes conditioned by the war economy; and with the dynamics of violence regarding Yugoslavia and Greece.
In an important final panel, contributors will discuss methods of teaching about the war, and reflect on how remembrance (and its counterpart, amnesia) have been crafted. The backdrop to all panels and discussions will be the European narratives on the war, and how they can serve to construct a European future that acknowledges this particularly troubled past as a common one.