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Local Approaches to the Second World War in Southeastern Europe


Venue: Ecole française d’Athènes – salle de conférence
Didotou Street 6
Metro : Panepistimio


9:00 – 9:30 OPENING

Tassos ANASTASSIADIS (Ecole française d’Athènes) / Hannes GRANDITS / Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)


Chair : Polymeris VOGLIS (Panepisthmio Thessalias, Voglos)
Masha CEROVIC (Centre d’études franco-russes, Moscou), War and Genocide in Eastern Europe in the 1940s: Global Research and Local Memories
Milan RISTOVIĆ Univerzitet u Beogradu), Southeast Europe in German “New Economic Order” (1941-1945)
Sabine RUTAR (Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropa Forschung, Regensburg), Contextualizing Local and Regional Dimensions of the War

11:00 – 11:30 COFFEE


In WWII research the predominance of macro- or ideology-oriented research on larger processes has been increasingly challenged by approaches of in-depth studies into the dynamics in concrete local settings. Sometimes it seems that local histories and configurations trigger a much different picture about the logic of agency or, for instance, the processes that lead to violence, persecution, or massacre. But is there not, still, very much ideology involved? How is the study of local agency to be fruitfully combined with the structuring power of “ideologies”?

11:30 – 13:00 CLUSTER 1A (Holocaust)

Chair : Nadège RAGARU (Centre d’études et de recherches internationales, Paris)
Leon SALTIEL (Panepisthmio Makedonias, Thessaloniki), The Greek Elites of Thessaloniki Facing the Holocaust: Resistance or Collaboration ?
Marija VULESICA (Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung, TU Berlin), Biographical Approach to the History of the Holocaust in the Independent State of Croatia
Milutin ŽIVKOVIĆ (Univerzitet u Beogradu), Novi Pazar under Occupation: The Case of the Urban Jews

13:00 – 14:30 LUNCH

14:30 – 16:00 CLUSTER 1B (mass violence)

Chair : Xavier BOUGAREL (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin)
Janis NALBADIDACIS Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Dynamics of Unrestrained Violence. The Massacre of Distomo on the 10th June 1944
Drago ROKSANDIĆ (Sveučilište u Zagrebu), Glina 1941. Logics of Violence in Spatial and Temporal Dimensions
Tchavdar MARINOV (Ecole française d’Athènes), Friendly Rivals, Ambiguous Allies: Bulgarian Administration and the IMRP Networks in Occupied Macedonia

16:00 – 16:30 COFFEE

16:30 – 18:00 CLUSTER 1C (right-wing violence)

Chair : Paolo FONZI (Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli)
Matko GLOBAČNIK (Sveučilište u Zagrebu), Croatian Right-Wing Intellectuals and the Independent State of Croatia
Kostas KATSOUDAS (Panteion Panepisthmio, Athens), The Politics of Right-Wing Violence in the Peloponese 1943-1949
Sanja GLADANAC (Univerzitet u Sarajevu), Serbs and Jews as an “unwanted Element” in Sarajevo (1941)

19:30 DINNER



From the beginning of the establishment of occupational or quisling regimes in Southeastern Europe new categorizations were defined (and later redefined) to privilege some, single out other populations and – in particular – to select out the discriminated or “unwanted”. The implementation of such group-making policies was often very violent und usually included a multitude of, often contradictory, (local) adaptations. What can be learned by looking closer to such local constellations?

9:30 – 11:00 CLUSTER 2A (ethnic minorities)

Chair : Marija VULESICA (Zentrum für Antisemitismus Forschung, TU Berlin)
Sonila BOÇI (Instituti i historise, Tirana), People in Crossroads: Greek Minority along with Albanians in the Second World War
Polymeris VOGLIS (Panepisthmio Thessalias, Volos), Controling Space and People. The Territoriality of War and Population Engineering in Greece during the 1940s
Caroline MEZGER (European University Institut, Florence), Contested Youths in Disputed Borderlands: The National Socialist Mobilization of Ethnic German Youths in the Batschka and the Western Banat, 1930s-1944

11:00 – 11:30 COFFEE

11:30 – 13:00 CLUSTER 2B (shifts in religious and ethnic identification)

Daniela SIMON (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen), “The Task of the Century”: Local Actors and Dynamics of the Policy of Forced Conversion in the Independent State of Croatia
Nadège RAGARU (Centre d’études et de recherches internationales, Paris), Fighting over the Souls of the Dead: Jewish Identities in the Multisided National Struggles over Macedonia
Thomas PORENA (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Yugoslavs in the German Concentration Camps

13:00 – 14:30 LUNCH


In order to better understand the contexts and processes pertinent to WWII, a starting point for studying the “the everyday” is the assumption that, first of all, people tried to cope with the exceptional/violent situation by trying to uphold a kind of “normality” in their daily life. Often such attempts were, however, reduced to find strategies and means to simply survive the war. How can such a focus on the “everyday life” enhance a more appropriate interpretation of WWII in its local dimensions?

14:30 – 16:00 CLUSTER 3A (military life)

Chair : Sabine RUTAR (Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung, Regensburg)
Xavier BOUGAREL (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin), “They Are Well Fed, and Are therefore in a Good Mood and Fighting Spirit”: Joining the Waffen-SS as a Survival Strategy
Paolo FONZI (Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli), Italian Mobilisation of Minorities in Northern Greece : Vlachs, Cams and Slavo-Macedonians
Franko DOTA (Sveučilište u Zagrebu), Dishonourable Partisans and Abominable Workers: Male Homosexuality in World War II and its Immediate Aftermath in Yugoslavia

16:00 – 16:30 COFFEE

16:30 – 18:00 CLUSTER 3B (civil life)

Chair : Milan RISTOVIĆ (Univerzitet u Beogradu)
Dejan ZEC (Univerzitet u Beogradu), Entertainment in an Occupied Country : Belgrade during German Occupation (1941-1944)
Nevenka TROHA (Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Ljubljana), Classs or Nationality ? Workers in Trieste and Trbovlje during World War Two
Gruia BADESCU (University of Cambridge), Rebuilding Troubling Ruins: Perpetrators, Victims and Urban Reconstruction in Belgrade 1941-1949 (working title)


19:30 DINNER


Athènes, École française d'Athènes


10-11 mars 2016


Xavier Bougarel


10/03/2016 to 11/03/2016

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