War, Revolution, Civil War: Eastern Europe 1917-1923

War, Revolution, Civil War: Eastern Europe 1917-1923

UCD Centre for War Studies; Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau
Clinton Institute, Seminar Room University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Dublin, Irland
Vom - Bis
25.03.2011 - 26.03.2011
Julia Eichenberg, Centre for War Studies, UCD

Although the history of the Great War itself can hardly be described as a neglected area of historical research, this is not true of its impact on Eastern Europe or on the global emergence of violence in the “post-war period” . The Dublin-based, ERC-funded project “The Limits of Demobilization” investigates the often violent (and sometimes peaceful) global paths of transition from war to ‘peace’ during one of the most formative, yet surprisingly understudied, periods in modern history: the years between 1917 and 1923. The purpose of the project is to think afresh about the immediate aftermath of the Great War and its legacies.

Organized in close collaboration with the German Historical Institute Moscow, the conference "War, Revolution, Civil War: Eastern Europe 1917-23" focuses on Eastern Europe as a transnational theatre of violence in the respective period. The conference aims to challenge both nation-centric explanations for the eruption of violence and the conventional assumption that the Great War ended in November 1918. It aims to contribute to a better, more empirically grounded explanation of why some formerly combatant countries managed the transition from war to peace more successfully than others and why other regions and countries experienced major waves of violence.

This conference will examine the experiences, legacies, and meanings of war and revolution in Eastern Europe, highlighting common themes and different trajectories. It will attempt, for the first time, to move beyond a nation-centric understanding of defeat and the parallel experiences of revolution and imperial disintegration through a comparative and/or transnational approach.
Three decisive and often overlapping developments contributed to these conflicts: the impact of class war in the form of Bolshevism as a factor in international relations; the collapse of multi-national dynastic empires (Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, Russia) along with the often violent attempts to create new nation-states; and the experiences of defeat and territorial disintegration. Successor states were plagued by revolution and sometimes, civil war and they suffered severe economic dislocation. The ‘shatter zones’of empire became the sites for violent conflicts over issues that the war had raised but not settled, conflicts that persisted long after the formal end of hostilities in November 1918. Paramilitary violence was a central feature of all these conflicts.

The conference is open to a scholarly audience of academics, postgraduate students, independent researchers and individuals who are interested in the field. For all organizational matters, please contact the administrator of the UCD Centre for War Studies, Dr Christina Griessler:


Friday, 25 March 2011

13:00 Registration
13:30 Welcome and Introduction

13:45 – 15:30 Panel 1: The War as Imperial Challenge - Russia
Chair: Nikolaus Katzer (German Historical Institute Moscow)

Semen Gol’din (Hebrew University Jerusalem):
The Jewish Policy of Military and Civilian Authorities as a Case Study of the Systemic Crisis in the Russian Empire, 1914-1917

Alexander Semyonov (Smolny Institute St. Petersburg/ Ab Imperio)
World War as the Civil War and Civil War as the World War: The Radicalization of Political Visions in the War Time Russian Empire

Boris Kolonicky (European University St. Petersburg)
“Nicolas the 3rd”:Images of the Commander in Chief Grand Duke Nikolaj Nikolaevich (1914-1915)

15:030– 16:00 COFFEE BREAK

16:00 – 17:30 Panel 2: Revolution and Civil War - Russia
Chair: Katja Bruisch (German Historical Institute Moscow)

Vladimir Shishkin (Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk)
WWI as a factor of Russian Revolution and Counterrevolution

Yulia Yurievna Khmelevskaya (Center for Cultural History Studies, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk)
A la Guerre com a la Guerre: the American Relief Administration and experience of the First World War in Fighting the famine in early Soviet Russia, 1921-1923

Dmitrij Simonov (Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk)
Russia’s Military Potential in 1918

Saturday, 26 March 2011

09:30 – 11:00 Panel 3: The Baltics and Finland
Chair: Tomas Balkelis (University College Dublin)

Juha Siltala (Helsinki University)
Terror in the Finnish Civil War

Aldis Minins (University of Latvia)
Manifestations of the Civil War in Latvia, 1918-1920

Taavi Minnik (Talinn University)
Terror and Repressions in Estonia, 1918-1919

11:00– 11:30 TEA / COFFE BREAK

11:30 -13:00 Panel 4: Poland
Chair: Julia Eichenberg (University College Dublin)

Frank Golczewski (University of Hamburg):
The Wars after the War. The Fight for the Polish Eastern Border 1918-1920

Jan Snopko (Białystok University):
The influence of the Russian revolution on the policy of Joseph Pilsudski and the fate of the Polish Legions (1917-1918)

Rüdiger Ritter (Free University Berlin):
Germans and Poles fighting against regional identity: The Confrontations in Upper Silesia after World War I from the perspectives of participants, the regional, national, and international public

13:00– 13:30 LUNCH BREAK

13:00 – 14:30 Panel 5: The Balkans
Chair: John Paul Newman (University College Dublin)

Mark Biondich (Carleton University)
Preliminary title: The Balkans Revolution, War, and Political Violence

Alexander Korb (University of Leicester)
“Terrorists interned” Ustasha nationalists, revisionist powers and the breakup of Yugoslavia

Uğur Ümit Üngör (University of Utrecht)
A Ten-year War? Post-war Violence in the Ottoman-Russian Borderlands

Dmitar Tasic (Institute for Strategic Research, Department of Military History)
Some Common Attributes of Political Violence in Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria


15:00 – 16:00 Rountable Discussion
Chair: Robert Gerwarth (University College Dublin)

We wish to thank the European Research Council (ERC) for its generous support of this event:


Julia Eichenberg

Centre for War Studies, UCD Dublin


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