"Socialism in the Baltic Area"
Esbjerg, 14-17 December 2007
The conference is a co-operation between the Centre for Cold War Studies at the University of Southern Denmark and Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur and the section for Nordic History at the University in Greifswald. The conference will put focus on the ideologic confrontations during the Cold War as a result of the so-called "international class struggle".
The socialistic countries in the Baltic area, the Soviet Union, Poland, and DDR led active politics, which should promote the communistic model of society in for example the Nordic Countries.
The conference will concentrate on following themes:
- The Foreign policy of the communist countries in the Baltic
- Armed resistance against communism
- The competition between the models of the future
- The secret services and the left wing
Idea of the Conference:
The frontlines of the Cold War went down through the Baltic. In the communist countries the propaganda described the Baltic as "The Sea of Peace". In the real world mighty armies were ready for action. Behind the potential military conflict the deep ideologically conflict between the communist regimes and the market economic-democratic states lay hidden. In contrast to the military that was only a threat far away; the political conflict was death serious. It was fought from the first day of the Cold War and lasted until the fall of the Soviet Union. The cause was the mission, which was part of the communist regimes' self-understanding. They saw themselves as participants in the international class struggle. They wanted to change the world and bring it toward what they saw as "a higher level", as they should help the populations in the capitalistic world towards the Marxist-Leninist model of society.
These efforts led to a long and bitter fight about the power in the labour movement in the western world; a fight that rooted in the split of the labour movement in the inter-war period. The division was underlined and intensified by the Cold War and the states' engagement at both sides. In the Baltic-area this fight at many ways made the core of the system conflict.
This conference will focus at different aspects of the mentioned struggle.
We can do this today because of the "revolution" there has been within the archives since 1990. First in the communist countries - with the earlier DDR in the top, but in the last few years Poland has also opened their archives. Afterwards the old western democracies have followed foot-draggingly. After the millennium shift there has been some initiative here, this aim for more openness in the archives that is concerned with themes about contemporary history. This improved situation has caused a stream of new research. The conference will get the feel of this research, and will in many ways bring the leading scholars together for the first time.
Conference languages will be English and German.
Key note speaker:
Erik Kulavig , Center for Koldkrigsstudier, Syddansk Universitet "The Baltic Area and the Cold War"
Session 1: "The international class struggle. Foreign policy of the communist states in the Baltic"
Moderator: Michael Ploetz, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Berlin.
Mette Skak, Århus Universitet: "The Fake Dissolution of the Comintern"
Thomas Wegener Friis, Center for Koldkrigsstudier, Syddansk Universitet:
"Die Ideologische Aussenpolitik der DDR gegenüber Dänemark"
Sven Holtmark, Institut for Forsvarsstudier, Oslo: "The Norwegian left in Soviet and GDR foreign politics"
Henry Andreasen, Aalborg Universitet: "Poland's foreign policy in the Baltic"
Rudolf van Huellen, Berlin: "Die westdeutschen Kommunisten als Instrument der SED"
Peter Ruggethaler, Ludwig Bolzmann Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung
Session 2: "Armed resistance against communism"
Moderator: Michael F. Scholz, Högskolan på Gotland
Peer Henrik Hansen, Roskilde Universitetscenter: "Western Support of Partisans in the Baltic"
Irina Kashtalian, Belarusian Research Center of Electronic Records: "Forms of active opposition (resistance) in Belarussian Soviet Socialistic Republic in 1944-1953"
Rafal Wnuk, IPN: "Partisan Struggle against Communism in Poland, 1944-1956 Olaf Mertelsmann, University of Tartu: "Resistance and Accommodation in the Postwar Baltic Republics: the Case of Soviet Estonia"
Arvydas Anusauskas, Genocide and Resistance Research Department:
"Lithuanian Resistance against Soviet occupation"
Volodymyr Viatrovych, Centr Doslidzhen Vyzvolnoho Ruchu: "Resistance in the Western Ukraine"
Heinrihs Strods, University of Letland: "Der Krieg der nationalen Partisaner in Lettland 1944-1950"
Session 3: "The competition between the models of the future"
Moderator: Jens E. Olesen, Universität Greifswald
Astrid Hedin, Universitet Uppsala: "Welfare State Rivals - communist discourses on Sweden and the GDR"
Bent Boel, Ålborg Universitet: "Left wing anticommunism? The Danish Left and support for dissidents in Poland and the GDR, 1968-1989"
Nils Abraham, Universität Greifswald: "The real existing socialism as a model for success?"
NN, Sct. Petersburg State University: "Gorbatjov and the Scandinavian Model"
Birgitta Almgreen, Södertörns Högskola: "Aspekte zu interkulturellen Prozessen Schweden - DDR. Intellektuelle in Schweden zwischen Bewunderung und Ablehnung"
Session 4: "The Intelligence services and the left wing political movements"
Moderator: Wladislaw Bulhak, IPN
Manfred Wilke, Ehem. Leiter des Forschungsverbandes SED-Staat: "Das MfS im Kampf gegen linke Solidarität aus dem Westen für Opposition im Osten"
Iben Bjørnson, København: "The Intelligence service and the battle of the Danish left wing in the 50's"
Magnus Petersson, Försvarshögskolan: "Reviewing Swedish surveillance of left-wing radicals during the Cold War"
NN: "Nordic security cooperation against communism"
Helmut Müller-Enbergs, Die Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen
Republik: "HV A activities in the Baltic Area"
Pawel Machcewicz, IPN: "The Polish Communist Security Apparatus vs. Radio Free Europe Gudni Johanneson, University of Reykjavik: "Intelligence and counter intelligence on Iceland"
The Conference will take place in Esbjerg at the conference center Esbjerg Højskole.
Conference fee is 2.800 Dkr. (373 EUR) and includes single room and all meals.
For participation contact:
Nicolaj Vraa Andersen:
vraa (at) hist.sdu.dk
For other questions contact:
Thomas Wegener Friis
twfriis (at) hist.sdu.dk