Contemporary History Podium 2018: How Akin are We to the Interwar Period? History and Current Relevance of the Democratic State Formations after the First World War in Germany, Austria, Poland, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia


The interwar period was a phase of the formation of new states and of democratic awakening, but also a time of crises and the failure of democracies as well as the establishment of authoritarian and dictatorial systems. Until recently, it was largely overlooked by research and the general public. Given the recent increase of right-wing populist currents and authoritarian tendencies in Europe, interest has once again grown. The second “Contemporary History Podium” is thus dedicated to the question of how akin we are to the interwar period. How is it perceived in different countries which constituted themselves as democracies at the end of the First World War after the fall of the Romanov, Habsburg and Hohenzollern Empires? Also what is the relevance of this history for the present? Ota Konrád (Charles University Prague), Ekaterina Makhotina (University of Bonn), Anton Pelinka (Central European University Budapest), Thomas Raithel (Institute for Contemporary History Munich–Berlin) und Krzysztof Ruchniewicz (Willy Brandt Center, Wrocław University) look into these questions utilising the examples of Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Austria, Germany and Poland.


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