International Conference on “The Warsaw Pact: From Its Founding to Its Collapse, 1955-1991”
26-27 May 2005, Washington, DC
May 2005 marked the 50 th anniversary of the signing of the Warsaw Pact. The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – a PHP associate – together with the German Military History Institute , the Harvard Cold War Studies Project (HPCWS) and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies organized a conference to commemorate the event. The international conference hosted scholars from most former Communist countries, covering a broad range of subjects.
The two-day symposium took advantage of declassified material from archives in East-Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Western countries that have shed enormous light both on the founding of the Warsaw Pact and on its subsequent evolution. The CWIHP, the HPCWS, and the PHP have collected vast quantities of declassified documents pertaining to the Warsaw Pact. Although some important collections (especially the Pact's highly classified war plans, which were stored exclusively in Moscow) have not been released, huge quantities of other documents are stored in various archives and are available to researchers who go there. Scholars from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States reviewed what “we now know” about the Warsaw Pact.
The conference reunited many PHP associates such as Jordan Baev, Csaba Békés, Christian Nuenlist, Gen. William Odom, Andrzej Paczkowski, Carmen Rijnoveanu, Svetlana Savranskaya, and Oldrich Tuma. Scholarly panels were organized around four main themes: (1) the formation and demise of the Warsaw Pact; (2) the Warsaw Pact during intra-bloc and East-West crises; (3) the Warsaw Pact's impact on its members; and (4) military relationships within the Warsaw Pact.