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September 29, 2007

The Truman Doctrine

On March 12th, 1947 President Harry S. Truman announced to congress a bold new initiative that transformed U.S. foreign policy. Set amid the Greek Civil War which pitted communist forces against the incumbent right wing junta, Truman viewed the conflict in much broader terms as a battles agianst Soviet expansion. Truman requested military and economic aide for the governments of Greece and Turkey to help suppress communist insurgents. Fearing a regional domino effect, Truman stated "If Greece was lost, Turkey would become an untenable outpost in a sea of communism. Similarly, if Turkey yeildd to Soviet demands, the position of Greede would be endangered." As post-war Europe began its reconstuction, the U.S. felt that it was a matter of national security to prevent European countries from falling into the Soviet sphere. Thus, as Truman states, it bacame "the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugaion by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
On May 22nd, 1947 the act was signed into law allocating a total of 400 million in aide (300 million to Greece and 100 million to Turkey). As a result, both countries resisted communist aggression and eventually solidified their alliance with the West by entering into the NATO pact. Thus, the phrase coined by George F. Kennan, a "policy of containment" was formed ushering in the Cold War.


Mike Epsy
David Holly
Kurt Homan
Bob Keady

Sources:
www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/trudoc.htm
www.wikipedia. org

September 28, 2007

The German Question

At the end of World War II, the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union had to make a decision about what to do with the state of Germany. The USSR pushed hard for harsh reparations and punishment while the US and Britain believed Germany would be needed as a central player in European reconstruction and recovery. These opposing viewpoints are not hard to understand considering, on the Russian side, the unbelievable losses that they had to endure, while on the other side, the fact that Western countries needed new markets to keep economies going.
In the end, Germany was split into four zones which essentially created two 'bi-zones', one Communist and one Western-capitalist. According to Wilkinson, Russia treated their German zone as an economic asset by invoking significant reparations while dismantling Germany's industry. On the Western side, the US, Britain, and France allowed Germany to rebuild economically and industrially while slowly gaining political and economic independence.

Group members: Peder Kvamme
Darrell Olson
Mike Buchanon

September 27, 2007

The Warsaw Pact

The Warsaw pact was created on May 14, 1955 in Warsaw Poland. The Soviet Union claimed that the alliance of countries from Central and Eastern Europe was formed as a result of NATO re-militarizing West Germany on May 9th. The members included the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The pact was created to protect a member if they were attacked. The pact was not supposed to interfere with internal conflicts of the members, but this occurred twice: once in Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution (in 1956) and then again in Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring in 1968.
The Warsaw Pact had two Branches. The non-military branch was called Political Consultative Committee. The military branch was called the Unified Command of Pact Armed forces. Albania withdrew from the pact in 1968, and East Germany left on September 1990 and reunited with West Germany a few weeks later. In 1991, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland withdrew from the pact and later that year the pact dissolved completely

By Greta Schmalle, Cody Smiglewski, and Joe Masrud

The Marshall Plan

With Europe being in economic ruin and America fearing that such economic hardship would breed new political extremism, “The Marshall Plan/European Recovery Program� was created in 1948. Originally purposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall, unlike the Truman Doctrine which only extended aid to Greece & Turkey, the Marshall Plan was designed to help ALL of Europe including the Soviet Union and its allies. The aid offered in the plan was not contingent on a nations political idealogy, thought it did require essentially pro-capitalist economic reforms.
Hence, the Soviets were hesitant of the program and feared that a hidden agenda was lurking behind America’s actions, and ultimately decided not to participate nor allow any of their satellite governments to do so. Thus the Marshall Plan became somewhat exclusive to Western Europe. Operating for 4 yrs and distributing over 13 billion in economic and technical assistance to European countries the Marshall Plan/ERP was successful in helping Western Europe recover from economic hardship and continue to grow even.

India Rambo
Mike Enright


Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/marshall_plan
Wilkinson, James and Hughes, H. Stuart. Contemporary Europe: A History. Page 415,416

Cominform

Cominform (Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties) was an international communist forum born in September of 1947. Cominform can be seen as the revival of the Comintern, disbanded in 1943. It is believed that Cominform was in response to growing interest of east European governments in participating in the 1947 Paris Conference regarding the prospect of United States financial funding through the Marshall Plan.

The new Soviet led system provided information and connections to communist parties in the Soviet Union and its satellite--Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania--in addition to Tito's Yugoslavia and the powerful Western communist parties of France and Italy. The information network proved less influential than attempts in the past as it only included two western parties.

To the Soviets, Cominform represented a powerful extension of their foreign policy. It allowed for the spread of Stalinism, furthered Soviet anti-Western beliefs, and allowed for a strict Soviet dictation of economic and ideological policies in participating governments. In the West, Cominform pushed French and Italian communist parties into a more militant revolutionary action.

As a result of political difficulties between Tito and Stalin, in 1948, Yugoslavia was banned from Cominform. This forced the seat of the forum to be uprooted from Belgrade, Yugoslavia and transported to Bucharest, Romania. In April, 1956 Cominform dissolves as a way of reconciling with Yugoslavia and beginning the process of DeStalinization, as its service to the Soviets had been played out.

Eric DeVoe
Lauren Huus
Molly Burke

Andrei Zhdanov and “Zhdanovism�


Andrei Aleksandrovich Zhdanov (born in Mariupol 26 February 1896- d. August 31, 1948, in Moscow) was a Soviet politician instrumental in the cultural implementation of Soviet society in the Communist eastern bloc of Europe. Appropriating a title for the scientific, stoic representation of art via Soviet society, “Zhdanovism� would come to be the Soviet cultural policy for the majority of Stalin’s political golden age, following the Second World War.
Zhdanov first joined the Bolshevik party in 1915, quickly going through the party ranks, to become the trusted Communist party leader in Leningrad in 1934. During WWII Zhdanov was in charge of the Soviet defense in Leningrad. After the cease-fire between the Soviet Union and Finland was signed in September 1944, Zhdanov assumed the head of the Allied Control Commission in Finland until 1947. After he was released of his post by Stalin, he was put in charge of commissioning the Soviet Union’s “cultural policy� in late 1946. He was instrumental in organizing the “Cominform� in 1947, coordinating the Eastern Communist parties of Europe—part of this organization implied getting all on the same page regarding the arts and culture. Zhdanovism called for simplicity, straightforward realism, and art being reduced down to a calculated science; he believed that this employed moral value in society, and that it created art that was “right� or “correct�. Indeed, the credo of Zhdanovism could be summed up in the often quoted phrase “The only conflict that is possible in Soviet culture is the conflict between good and best�. He proclaimed a Soviet approach to culture was the “best� way, in that it was correct, calculated, unambiguous, and implicit of a moral message.
The Zhdanovist approach also meant many purges in the arts of anything un-Soviet, or of a foreign (read: Western) influence. This meant the immense censorship of prolific Soviet writers, performing artists, and creative artists; including renown composer Dmitri Shostakovich, the writer Anna Akhmatova, and satirists such as Mikhail Zoshchenko. Many progressive publications that were seen to be slanderous against the Soviet approach, such as the Zvezda and Leningrad, were also axed by the policy. Artists who did not adhere to policy risked persecution and condemnation by the government.
Zhdanov died of heart failure in 1948, noted in most part due to his excessive alcoholism. Once flouted as the natural successor to Stalin (as he represented a politician of the Bolshevik Old School, and therefore prodigious to Stalin), his personal fall from grace allowed for his rivals to usurp his influence and to come into favor with Stalin. In 1952 the Soviet Union repealed the policy of “Zhdanovism�, as its successive censorship was found by the new leadership to be declared as having a negative effect on Soviet culture.


Wilkinson, James. Et. Al. “Contemporary Europe: A History�. Pp. 355, 360; 427.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Andrey Aleksandrovich Zhdanov�. C. 2005.

Bizonia

Bizonia is a geopolitical region located on the Western side of the Rhine river in what is now present-day Germany. It was the half of Germany, designated for British and American control at the Yalta conference following the defeat of Germany in World War II in February 1945. The Yalta, or Crimean Conference, was an official post-war meeting between the heads of the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Although each country had a specific agenda (the US was for calling on help in regards to their war with the Japanese in the Pacific, the UK was calling for democracy in Eastern Europe; particularly Poland, and the Soviet Union was set on establishing a sphere of influence and resource procurement in Eastern Europe), Yalta’s ultimate achievement was figuring out what to do with the German state, and how to go about the responsibility of rehabilitating the region for diplomatic purposes.
It was decided that each of the Big Three (UK, US, and USSR) would split up the region, respectively; with the United States taking the southern region, the UK taking the northwestern portion to the western border of Germany, France having a small allotment to the extreme southwest, and the Soviets taking the rest of the region, east of the Rhine river. Although the US and the UK were bent on rehabilitiation of their regions, including implementing a self-governing, democratic society once again, the Soviets had different plans. Operating as a Soviet satellite, the region that would soon become East Germany was used for immense industrial resource procurement and economic purging at the benefit of the Soviet government.
In 1946, the USSR stopped delivering agricultural products from their Eastern sector to the US and UK sectors of Germany. Likewise, the western sectors cut off their transfer of industrial supplies, and dismantled important factories in the southern Ruhr region, imperative to the Soviet’s sector. As a result, the USSR began a propaganda campaign detesting these moves by the West, citing “imperialist� motives, and began to try to disrupt the administrative work to all four sectors (the fourth being France’s German holdings to the southwest, which wouldn’t be entirely cooperative with the UK or US until later).
Because of these actions, the US and the UK united their zones, creating “Bizonia�, or the Bizone, in order to advance the development of Germany along the lines of a new democratic political order by January, 1947. France would add their alottment in 1949, creating a brief “trizone�, which soon after became the united Federal Republic of Germany, or the democratic “West Germany� to the Communist East German area.
Although both would develop at comparative rates, it would eventually show that Western Germany was economically and politically advancing at a more sustainable rate than the East. This would manifest itself in a sort of Soviet contention between sectors of the East German population, and that of Soviet bureaucracy.

Stalinism

Stalinism: A nationalist phenomenon and devotion to a "People's Democracy" of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Nevertheless, murderess purges would continue to undermine any legitimacy of Stalin's intent. Egotistical mass murder.

Joseph Stalin had little care for decency and would murder anything that did not agree with him, hence, Stalinism.. Frankly, he was paranoid. And had little care for anything else that would not essentially bolster the power of The Soviet Union.

Aux A.
Elizabeth P.
Molly H.
Dust A.

September 26, 2007

Percentage Deal

Towards the end of 1944 the end of World War II looked inevitable. The decision making of reconstructing the war torn zone was looming and the allies desperately did not want any repercussions forming from the rebuilding process. In October of 1944, however, a deal between the Soviets and the United Kingdom was formed to split up the upcoming ‘responsibility’ of rebuilding the post war countries. This “Percentage Deal� however, was not primarily about dividing the responsibility of reconstruction. To the Soviets this deal was a plan to gain more land and in turn provide more of a security cushion from the western allies for after the war ended. It was a perfect representation of how the Soviet Union wanted their post World War II region to look like. The leader of the Soviets, Josef Stalin, wanted to be separate from the western allies. When he signed this agreement with Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom he was confident that at the conclusion of the war he would be in control of the post war situation. This was not the case for Stalin however. In the end this agreement proved to be more of a thorny contention between the eastern and western divisions, leading to bitter feuds brought on the start of the cold war.

The facts about the “Percentage Deal� – How the countries in debate were split

•Romania
-Russia 90%
-Others 10%
•Greece
-Great Britain 90%
-Russia 10%
•Yugoslavia
-50/50
•Bulgaria
-Russia 75%
-The others 25%

Bibliography
James Wilkinson, H. Stuart Hughes. Contemporary Europe: A History. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
Kovrig, Bennett. Peace Making After World War II. Tuesday, 25 September 2007 .
Terry, Sarah Meiklejohn. "Soviet Policy in Eastern Europe." Google Books. Tuesday, 25 September 2007 .

Meagan Smith, Bryce Benda, Ben Winter, Elin Soderberg, Jodi Keuth

Jean Moulin

Jean Moulin was born on June 20, 1899 in Beziers, France. Highly active in
French political life, he became the youngest Head of Cabinet ever under
the prefect of Albertville. Still active in politics after the nazi take
over he was sought out by Germans, who tried to force him to sign a
document blaming French soldiers for atrocities committed by Germans. When
he refused to sign it, he was locked in a closest for the night to think
over his decision. Nervous about capitulating under torture the next day,
he slit his throat with some broken glass. Later, he typically tried to
hide the scar by wearing a scarf, as featured in most of his photos. Moulin
was rushed to the hospital, and the Germans were so embarrassed when the
word got out, since at the time they were trying to pretend they were on
France's side, that they promptly let him go, and turned to blaming someone
else for the crimes. Moulin went to Paris in the winter of 1940-41 and
argued there for the need of a Resistance with "republican legitimacy". But
few people listened to him, so from there he went south, to the Unoccupied
Zone, adopted a new identity, and sought out leaders of Resistance groups.
When he finally arrived in London in October, 1941, he was the
representative of three Resistance groups. He went with one purpose in
mind: to talk to de Gaulle. De Gaulle was the leader of all the French
movements, for the most part, but they movements were beginning to move
away from him as well. The Resistance felt that he was seated safe and
sound in merry old England while they were risking their lives. Also, they
were worried that he would simply start another military dictatorship after
the war. But Moulin's personality and beliefs helped to clarify this
matter. Within days of meeting Moulin, Charles de Gaulle dropped much of
what he had learned about the different sides of political matters. He made
it clear in a broadcast on November 15th 1941 that he wanted "to remain
faithful to the democratic principles that our ancestors set out." Now that
de Gaulle was in the Republic mainstream, Moulin was parachuted back to
France January 1st, 1942, as de Gaulle's "delegate general".

Now the highest leader of the Resistance that was stationed in France,
and second only to de Gaulle, he was given funds to help him pay for the
working of the Resistance. He displayed great personal authority, and
remarkable political and administrative skills. He managed, with his funds
and skills, to unite the oftentimes competitive, and typically suspicious
Resistance groups, which tended to be touchy and argumentative at best. In
1942 he created MUR, the Unified Resistance Movement. After another visit
to London in early 1943, he took charge on May 27th at the first meeting of
the National Resistance Council. On June 21, he was captured, along with
several other high ranking Resistance officials, by the Nazis. He was
tortured by Clause Barbie and just as the final plans for his rescue were
being made, he was transported to Paris: mortally wounded. From there, he
died on July 8th, of a heart failure on the train to Germany, and was
cremated. In December 1964, his remains were placed in the Pantheon, to
rest alone with those of Victor Hugo, Jean Jaures, and Lazare Carnot, by
the now President de Gaulle during a special ceremony. His remains are one
of very few to be added in recent years. As de Gaulle said of him, "he was
the martyr of the Resistance".

kompa003
Sath0119

The Warsaw Pact –

It was established on May 14, 1955 in Warsaw, Poland. The member states were the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Notably absent form this list is Yugoslavia, the Nationalist Estern European communist state under Tito. Due to the fractured relations between the Tito and the USSR, at the inception of the treaty, the Yugoslavs were not included.

Soviets claimed at the time that the pact was a reaction to the formation of NATO and the rearmament of West Germany. The Warsaw pact was created under the guise of mutual protection of the Eastern European socialist states, against their western counterpart. An Argument is made (Wilkinson, Hughes 465) that the formation of the pact was a maneuver made necessary by the independence Austria, and the lack of another means to justify the positioning of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The treaty solidified Soviet Military control over all of the socialist satellites.

The treaty is used as justification in 1956 by Kruschev when Hungary attempted to pull out of the Warsaw pact. Soviet troops were sent into Hungary. A token force of Romanian tanks prevented it from being a strictly Russian enterprise. In 1968 Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia, (with the exception of the Czechs and Romanians) to crush the Dubchek rebellion.

This treaty is significant as it solidifies further the battlelines of the cold war. Like it's Western opposite, plans are laid and military exercises are conducted in the event of hostilities, in this case on the part of NATO.

Following the reunification of Germany, and the collapse of the USSR the Treaty was dissolved officially July 1, 1991.

AKA the Warsaw Treaty Organization or the Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance

Definition 2 - 27 Sep 07
Group Members:
Mike Epsky
David Holly
Kurt Homan
Bob Keady

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Pact
Wilkinson, James and Hughes, H. Stuart. Contemporary Europe: A History. Page 465, 469.
http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/WarPact.html

The Man Behind the Wall

Walter Ulbricht arrived in Berlin shortly after the collapse of the Third Reich along with other German communists living in exile in the Soviet Union with the intention of rebuilding the German Communist Party along strict Stalinist lines. He played a pivotal role in the creation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was head of state, and ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Ulbricht was born in Leipzig in 1893 and became an active communist in the years after the First World War. He had a knack for eliminating rivals and acquiring power for himself. After the Nazis came to power, Ulbricht emigrated to France and later to the Soviet Union with the intent of keeping the Kommunist Partei Deutschland (KPD) alive. After the German capitulation, Ulbricht and a group of fellow exiles arrived in Berlin on the heels of the Red Army. They moved quickly to consolidate power by uniting the Social Democrats and Communists into a single party and imposing Stalin’s will on the Soviet Occupation Zone. In October of 1949 the GDR became a nation with Ulbricht in the role of Deputy Chairman of the Ministerial Council. By 1957 he was the de facto ruler of the GDR. Ulbricht played a significant role in the economic development of the new nation. The focus was on heavy industry and despite the poorly conceived plan there were some small gains. However, it wasn’t enough to stem the tide of emigration.

By the early 1960s, millions of East Germans had emigrated to the West. In 1961, Ulbricht made his most notorious decision when he ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall. The Wall would become the most recognizable symbol of the Cold War and its demise would mean the end of communism in Eastern Europe.

Ulbricht remained in power until 1971 when he fell out of favor with the Soviets and his fellow German Communists over some of his more liberal economic policies. He was replaced by Erich Honecker and would die two years later. His legacy is that of an ardent Stalinist and brutal dictator, but also an excellent politician who stabilized the GDR.

Lisa Eimer
Hillary Kraus
Joe Milner

Source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Ulbricht

September 24, 2007

NATO - North American Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in the early years of the Cold War on April 4, 1949. The original countries included the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), Portugal, and Iceland. After a few years, Greece, Turkey, and West Germany joined. In 1954, the Soviet Union tried to join. The other members rejected their request. Today there are 26 members in NATO. Before being accepted, countries must meet political, military, and economic goals. This will enforce the contributions they can make as well as the benefits they may receive. According to NATO, “NATO and Russia made a reciprocal commitment to work together to build a stable, secure and undivided continent on the basis of partnership and common interest in 1997.�

The intent behind NATO was a military arrangement for mutual protection between various countries, both in Europe and North America. In other words, if one of the NATO countries were attacked, all other countries would give support to the defense of that country. The other countries would respond as if they were being attacked. This is often referred to as Article 5. Per NATO, “In accordance with the Treaty, the fundamental role of NATO is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. NATO is playing an increasingly important role in crisis management and peacekeeping.�

In addition to protection from outside military attacks from non-NATO countries and communists, NATO hoped to discourage fighting within the European countries. This stability within Western Europe would increase strong governments, economies, and confidence.

Group Members:
Meghan Anderson (ande3607)
Julie Koch (koch0190)
Julia Thieschafer (thie0048)

Sources:
Wilkinson, James and H. Stuart Hughes. Contemporary Europe: A History. Pages 418-419
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/nato
http://www.nato.int/

The Yalta Conference

The Yalta Conference was a meeting between the three representatives of the superpowers of post-WWII which included Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Theodore Roosevelt of the United States, and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. The three had met at Yalta primarily to discuss what was to be done with post-war Germany, although each individual came into the conference with their own separate agenda as to what action should be taken. Stalin wanted to create a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe to tighten Soviet national security, while Churchill was looking to institute free elections and democracy among Eastern Europe. Roosevelt’s stance was a bit hesitant, and it is for this reason that some of his enemies claimed Stalin tricked him into “Selling Out� Eastern Europe to the Soviets. Roosevelt most definitely did not have any faith in communism, but he was also suspicious of the imperialist aims of the British, and it was for this reason that Roosevelt was unable to coordinate with Churchill and prevent Soviet control of Eastern Europe. Roosevelt’s main concern was keeping allied unity intact, and to establish the United Nations by getting commitment from Stalin to join.

After all was said and done, both East and West left with conflicting interpretations of what was to be done. The spheres of influence had been established, but the countries that were to be split 50/50 in power for example, were still completely lost in terms of leadership and dominating parties. The only thing that was really set in stone was Churchill and Roosevelt agreeing to Stalin’s request of a new frontier line for Poland which roughly corresponded to the Curzon Line. The positive that the West took from the meeting was admitting France to equal partnership for control of Germany, winning France control of land in Germany that bordered France, as well as an occupation zone in Berlin.

Evan Hosseini
Jacob Schultz
Chris Winkler

September 20, 2007

Neorealism

Born in Italy and popularized in the immediate years after World War II, neorealism was an art movement based in literature and film that primarily focused on the poor and working-class of society, seeking to find the heroism in the struggles of everyday life. Although it shared the emphasis for the natural and real that its predecessor, the realist movement of the 19th century, had, neorealism did not value distant objectivity, instead opting to create art that would be more popular and accessible. In the 1950s, neorealism's popularity would fade as it was replaced by more creative and fanciful works.
Some of the most prominent neorealist authors include Elio Vittorini, Vasco Pratolini, and Cesare Pavese along with English writers Kingsley Amis, who wrote Lucky Jim (1954), and John Brain, the author of Room at the Top (1957).
Neorealist film was very similar in theme and style to its literary counterpart, also highlighting the everyday lives of the common people, though it ultimately may have had a more lasting impact on the art world. Neorealist movies were very simple, partly due to a lack of resources, and were often shot outside with only one camera, using amateur actors. Famous works include Luchino Visconti's Ossessione (1943), Roberto Rossellini's Open City (1944), and Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thief (1948).

Mike Enright
India Rambo

Sources:
Wilkinson, James and H. Stuart Hughes. Contemporary Europe: A History. pp. 397, 400
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_neorealism
http://www.greencine.com/static/primers/neorealism1.jsp
http://library.thinkquest.org/28490/data/inglese/index_e.htm

Existentialism

Existentialism was a philosophical movement that began following World War II. During this period, there were large numbers of new freedoms being granted to artists of all kinds, and with this new latitude new forms of thinking were taking shape. The existentialism movement began in France, but quickly spread throughout Western Europe due to philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, and Albert Camus. Through existentialism, these thinkers focused their writings on the way in which people found meaning in their lives and through their actions. Against the backdrop of the Second World War, they especially wanted to know how people made decisions under the moral dilemma of good and bad. More specifically, many of the existentialists, led by Sartre, believed that men and women (presumably post-war Europeans) left their lives to be decided largely by outside influences. In this sense they were not taking personal responsibility for their lives and, because of this, the fate of mankind was left to outside forces to do as they pleased leaving an overall feeling of helplessness for the direction of the world.

Group members: Peder Kvamme
Darrel Olson
Mike Buchanan

Tito's Home Page

Tito has been dead since 1980, but he has lived online on his very own home page since 1994!

www.titoville.com

Here's an article the New York Times wrote about the website in 1997. The website is pretty amusing, partially because it's written in the first person from Tito's perspective, but also because the website design is clearly from 1994. It's pretty ugly.

Social Democrats

The Social Democrats emerged out of teh socialist movement in the late 19th century. After World War II they didn't really have a commitment to get rid of capitalism. They believed that they could keep the capitalist system by nationalization of large businesses, the use of social programs (i.e. public education, and universal healthcare) and a permanent establishment of a welfare state based on progressive taxation. Also, most of their voting base was the middle class.

Lauren Huus
Molly Burke
Eric D.

Def. 1 - Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980)

Josip Broz was born in 1892 to a Croatian father and a Slovenian mother in what was then Austria-Hungary (Croatia today) and was raised Catholic. He left school at the age of 12 or so and began work as a machinist's apprentice. He soon joined the Social Democratic party of Croatia. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, he was drafted into the army of Austria-Hungary. He was captured by the Russian army and sent to a work camp where he was elected leader by his fellow prisoners. In early 1917, during the early stages of the Russian revolution, the prisoners at his camp were let go. Broz shortly thereafter joined a Bolshevik group, and in 1918 he joined the Russian Communist Party and became a member of the Red Guard.

In 1920, Broz returned home with his wife whom he had met in Russia. He joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY). The party had grown in power to such an extent that it posed a political threat to the King of Yugoslavia's administration. The party was outlawed in the early 1920s and went underground. Broz remained a member. In the years up to 1934, Broz demonstrated his leadership skills and his commitment to workers' rights. He was elected to important positions in several unions. It was in 1934 that Broz took the alias 'Tito' for his work in the CPY. In 1935 he went to the USSR and worked for the Comintern and the Soviet Secret Police. Stalin had recently purged the CPY leadership, and Tito was sent back to be Secretary-General and rebuild the party, which was still illegal in Yugoslavia.

In 1941, Hitler's armies invaded Yugoslavia and captured the country in 11 days. Two resistance movements sprang up. Draja Mihailovich, a Serbian army officer, led the guerilla Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland, also known as the Royal Chetniks, who were loyal to the government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the government that had been in place before the Axis armies invaded. Tito led the Yugoslav partisans, also a guerilla force. The two resistance movements worked together early on, but later each saw the other as a threat, and they began fighting against each other as well against the Axis powers. Mihailovich's successes won him the support of the West and was even lauded in Time magazine in 1942. However, he "made no secret of his intention of enforcing Serbian supremacy on the country's liberation" (Wilkinson and Hughes, p. 323), and in the end eased his attack against the Axis armies. This led Churchill and Roosevelt to question the wisdom of supporting him. Tito, on the other hand, "preached reconciliation and unity among the Yugoslav peoples" (Wilkinson and Hughes, p. 323). The Allies eventually switched their support to Tito.

Tito became Prime Minister after the war and purged those who weren't loyal to the communists. He set up the new Yugoslavia after the model of the Soviet Union and was successful in suppressing nationalist and separationist movements. Tito's relationship with Stalin deteriorated in the post-war years due to Tito's insistence upon Yugoslavian self-determination and his support of the communists in Greece (which had been agreed by Churchill and Stalin to be under British influence). In 1948 Tito and Yugoslavia were expelled from Cominform. This left Yugoslavia non-aligned in the Cold War. In the 1960s, Yugoslavia was one of the five founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (along with India, Indonesia, Egypt, and Ghana). Tito took advantage of his neutrality to enable Yugoslavia to have good diplomatic relations with countries with many different types of governments. Tito was named President for Life in 1963. He died in 1980. Within 12 years of his death, Yugoslavia had split up.

Sources:

Wilkinson and Hughes, Contemporary Europe (2004).
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/kbank/profiles/tito/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tito
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia#Yugoslavia_during_the_Second_World_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_People%27s_Liberation_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Army_in_the_Fatherland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partisans_%28Yugoslavia%29

Group:
Meghan Anderson (ande3607)
Julie Koch (koch0190)
Julia Thieschafer (thie0048)

Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany

This party experienced ‘significant shifts’ in philosophy and organizational structure since its initial development in the 1860s and 1870s. Consequently, it is essential to view the party’s development from the evolving perspectives of ‘within a period of time ’and ‘across a political spectrum’. The SPD originally advocated Marxist socialism; however, major philosophical differences occurred early in the 20th Century which caused a split into ‘revolutionary socialists’ and ‘reform socialists’. Revolutionist ideology (democratic socialism) was associated with the left wing of the political spectrum (moving right from Marxism) and fully supported socialist systems. Whereas the reformist (social democracy) leaned towards the political center (moving left from capitalism) and fully supported social reforms within a capitalist system. From 1920-1932 the SPD (reformist) won a significant number of seats in the German Parliament (Reichstag), becoming Germany’s leading political party. However, after voting against Hitler’s Enabling Act, the party was banned on 14 July 1933.
In the Post-War period, the SPD experienced crucial changes in its philosophy and politics: its Marxist past was recanted in 1959; opposition to membership in NATO and the European Economic Community was dropped; and, it accepted the ‘social market economy’ strategy. Between the late 1960s and into the 1990s, the party was shaped by internal issues causing another significant split with one group emphasizing economic and social justice, egalitarianism, and environmental protection, while another group focused on controlling inflation, encouraging fiscal responsibility, and playing a significant part in the European security system. In coalitions with other minor parties, and with the party repositioned left of centre, the SPD was the main governing body of Germany from 1966-1982 and from 1998-2005. Currently, the SPD’s reform path objectives are expressed in its ‘Agenda 2010’. This manifesto lays claim (under its control of government) to: children allowances being raised; income tax reduced; society strengthened by new immigration laws; reforms in health, pension and labor market systems; merger of unemployment and social benefits; and the creation of "mini-jobs". The SPD’s foreign policy platform emphasizes getting a permanent seat on the UN Security Council for Germany. And, within the European Union (EU), the SPD has two primary goals: (1) to further enlargement and strengthening of the EU's capacity to act in its Common Foreign and Security Policy; and (2) to modernize EU organizations and decision-making processes. For the future, the SPD advocates change without creating a different Germany, solidarity, social justice, social market economic growth, sustainable wealth for all, reduction of unemployment, improved Eastern Germany development, a modern (global) energy policy and a more family-friendly Germany.

Current SPD Chairman: Franz Müntefering
Membership: 594,000
Result in the 2002 Bundestag elections: 38.5%

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Democratic Partyof_Germany
http://www.german-embassy.org.uk/spd.html
http://www.germanculture.com.ua/library/facts/bl_spd.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4219274.stm

Definition 1 - 20 Sep 07
Group Members:
Mike Epsky
David Holly
Kurt Homan
Bob Keady

Konrad Adenauer

Konrad Adenauer served as the first chancellor of the BRD, serving from 1949-1963. A Cologne native and member of the Catholic Center Party, Adenauer was adamantly against the Nazi regime. He was often punished for his outspoken viewpoints during the years of Nazi rule. Adenauer was arrested several times and barred from office (he was previously mayor of Cologne). He was forced to move often while the party confiscated his home every time they felt the need for reprisal, and near the end of the war he was sent to a concentration camp.

When the first elections of the new BRD were held on August 15, 1949, the Christian Democrats were voted as majority party in a coalition with the Bavarian Christian Social Union and the Free Democrats. Adenauer was voted chancellor- a perfect choice as he was anti-communist and had no Nazi ties. He worked to reestablish a relationship with France, joined NATO, and under his governance, Germany became one of the six founding members of the European Union. An important part of his time as chancellor is the successful early return of the Saarland to Germany in 1957. He served as chancellor for 14 years and was known for his conservative views.

-Meagan Smith, Bryce Benda, Ben Winter, Elin Soderberg

Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich is one of Russia’s most popular composers despite the
fact that he began his professional musical career under Stalin’s rule.
During this time, artistic expression was limited by government approval,
and punishment for not producing “acceptable work� was often extreme.
Shostakovich was no exception; he was denounced twice for his works (Lady
Macbeth in particular).

After he was denounced, Shostakovich remained more conservative in
his works, but still remained very popular. During this time, he composed
his Fifth Symphony which is regarded as one of his best pieces. After
Stalin’s death in 1953, Shostakovich released works (particularly the Tenth
Symphony) that were more artistically daring.

During World War II Shostakovich took on duties other than composing by becoming a spokesman for the Soviet Union. In 1942 Shotakovich was featured in a Soviet propaganda painting as a fire warden. This painting ended up on the front page of Time magazine in the United States in 1942. Shotakovich also gave a radio adress to the Soviet people on behalf of the government.

In 1960 Shostakovich joined the Soviet communist party and his motives are still a source of controversy. Some observers believed he had succumbed to political pressure, while others believed it was a genuine attempt to show respect and commitment to the state. It has also been reported that Shostokivich told his wife that he was blackmailed, and later because distraught and suicidal over his decision.

Shostakovich composed up until he died in 1975. His famous later
works include the theme music for the 1980 Olympics (held in Moscow) and
his Thirteenth Symphony (subtitled Babi Yar) which commemorates the Jewish
genocide in World War Two.

Group:
Greta Schmalle
Joe Masrud
Cody Smiglewski

September 19, 2007

French Resistance


The French Resistance was lead by Charles de Gaulle in opposition to the German invasion of France. His goal along with a large group of others was to show their lack of intrest in German beliefs on how to live. so they established the resistance with the intention of defending their country from fascism. In the beginning it was a very unorganized movement, but as it went strictly against the pact that the Vichy French had signed with Germany its expansion was slow moving. At first most of the acts of sabotage were ones done by individuals, rather than organized plans of attack. However,interest in the resistance grew, and the "Free French" as they came to be known developed a more cohesive organized group of resistance fighters.
During the time of the french reasistance which began around 1940, those who took part, did everything from cutting telephone lines, bombing bridges, and taking out major transportation such as railroads. In response to these attacks the Germans stated that they would kill anyone who had been captured in connection with these acts.This threat did not detour any of these resistance fighters from trying to defend their country, but instead made
them more careful and secretive. As time went on attacks became more organized and planned out, and nearing the end of the war the many resistance groups banned together to form a real Army, and they became instrumental in fighting out in the open with the help of the U.S. Army in the liberation of France in 1944

Kompa003, Sath 0119

Pope John XXIII

“Pope John XXIII�

Not long after the Second World War pope Pius XII died. This meant that a gathering of the Roman Catholic cardinals, called a conclave, had to be gathered in order to elect a new pope. In a conclave the cardinals are locked together shut off from the outside. At a certain time after debating among themselves they hold an election. When the election is completed they put smoke up the chimney, black if there is no clear choice and white if there is a new pope. Despite the conspiracy theories and other confusion in the conclave pope John XXIII was elected.

Pope John XXIII was named Angelo Roncalli at birth. He was born to a small town in Italy. He lived a modest life, which is strikingly different from popes before him. He was first ordained a priest in 1904. He was in the royal Italian army as a stretcher bearer and Chaplin in WWI. He became a bishop in 1925. In WWII he helped the Jewish underground move refugees from Europe to safety. He was moved to Paris, France as Apostolic Nuncio. In 1953 he became a cardinal in the church. In 1958 he was elected as pope. He was expected to be a “stop gap� pope, which is to have a short term and little influence over the church. However he had different ideas. He was known for his warmth and ability to use the media to spread his message; this is something that Pope John Paul II would later perfect after following his example. Pope John XXIII would go out to the sick and those in prison stating “you could not come to me so I came to you.� He died at the age of 81 on June 3, 1963.

Jacob Schultz

Chris Winkler

Evan Hosscini

Nuremberg War Crimes Trials

After the end of World War II, the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and France worked out the details to punish war atrocities. The procedures for the trial were set up through the London Charter, issued August 8, 1945. The Charter stated that the trial would only look at the major criminal actors of the European Axis countries. The London Charter also defined three categories of crimes which the criminals could be tried under; war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. During the trial proceedings, 200 Germans were tried at Nuremberg and 1,600 others were tried under the traditional military courts (Wikipedia).

The trials were conducted from 1945 to 1949 at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. Between November 1945 to October 1946, 24 of the most notorious and notable Nazi leaders were tried before the International Military Tribunal (IMT). Some of the most well known include Hermann Goring, Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer, and Franz von Papen (Wikipedia). The IMT tried the perpetrators on four counts, the common plan or conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity (Cornell Law Library). Following these trials there was a second set of trials of lesser criminals held under the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT). Each of the four countries during the proceedings offered one judge and an alternate, and prosecutors. Robert H. Jackson was the chief prosecutor from the United States, Sir Hartley Shawcross from Britain, Lieutenant-General R. A. Rudenko from the Soviet Union, and Francois de Menthon from France (Wikipedia).

The Nuremberg trials set the precedent for prosecuting and trying war crimes. The trials also influenced the development of international criminal law, which later developed into the International Law Commission and the later adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Wikipedia).

Further information:
Library of Congress-- http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/NT_major-war-criminals.html
Cornell University Law Library-- http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeHave/SpecialCollections/Donovan/index.cfm

Group Members:
Lisa Eimer
Hillary Krause
Joe Milner

Definition One - Social Democrats

Social Democrats

As stated in lecture, the Social Democrat party emerged as one of two leading parties in Germany after WWII. Social democrats originally were a sort of branch of the socialist movement before WWI. They were considered reformist and the other branch of socialism was called revolutionary. After WWI, differences of opinion about the war caused Social Democrats to break off on their own. The revolutionary socialist group became known as communist.
The social democrats in post-WWII Germany believed in a reformed capatalist system complete with social programs and the creation of a welfare state instead of completely getting rid of the capatalist system.

References:
Lecture 9/13
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/Social_democracy

Group members: Molly H. Alex A. Elizabeth P.

September 18, 2007

Next Russian presidential elections, LA Times

The coming presidential elections in Russia are interesting because the Russians seem to be abandoning the rule of law and democratic institutions little by little. The chaos and cleptocracy that emerged after hasty and ill-thought out privatization of the nations wealth following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union both prepared the stage, and in fact necessiated extraordinarily heavy handed rule. The question now is what a undemocratic Russia, sitting on enormous oil nad gas-reserves means for Europe and the US.
This article considers the meaning of the coming election, and appeared in the LA times today.


"Whether the next president is called Zubkov, Ivanov or Putin, he'll still be the product of a political system that remains mystifyingly opaque, and we shouldn't forget it."

Does This Mystery Matter?

By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, September 18, 2007; A19


Russian President Vladimir Putin sacked his prime minister last week and replaced him with one Viktor Zubkov, an obscure official never before mentioned as a potential leader. Wondering why? Here are a few of the rumors in circulation:

Click continue reading

¿ Because Zubkov is completely unimportant, Putin intends to make him the next president of Russia, a possibility that Zubkov has not denied: After all, the presidential election is not until March 2008, leaving plenty of time for the Kremlin-controlled media to introduce Zubkov to the Russian public. (Putin's motive? Zubkov can keep the Kremlin office chair warm so that Putin can return in 2012. The Russian constitution prohibits a third consecutive presidential term but not, apparently, a nonconsecutive third term.)


¿ Because Zubkov is actually extremely important-- he is, in the words of Russia expert Anders Aslund, the "spider in the web" who knows the financial secrets of Putin's inner circle -- he will remain prime minister while Putin, possibly following declaration of a national military emergency, remains in office. (The evidence? The otherwise inexplicable Russian celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Franklin Roosevelt, the American president who stayed on for a third and then fourth presidential term because of a national military emergency.)


¿ Because Zubkov doesn't matter either way, Putin has pushed him to prominence while trying to make up his mind about who the real candidate should be. (The alternatives? There are dozens, including former defense minister Sergei Ivanov, who apparently tells all and sundry that he has it in the bag already.)

Still others hold that Zubkov arrived in Moscow by flying saucer and regularly communicates with little green men (just kidding). But the bottom line is that no one really knows why Zubkov was appointed, except for Putin himself. And he isn't telling.

All of which goes a long way toward confirming something I've maintained for some time: that the identity of the next president of Russia doesn't actually matter. Though a lot of analytical effort has already been wasted on careful preelectoral scrutiny of the potential candidates, their views, alleged pragmatism or alleged chauvinism are much less important than the nature of the coming presidential selection process.

If Zubkov (or someone else) becomes president after an orchestrated media campaign, falsified elections and Putin's constant presence in the background, then we'll know that the winner of the election really is a placeholder. If Zubkov (or someone else) manages to garner some genuine support among voters and within the Kremlin, then we'll know to take his views seriously. If Putin remains president -- well, we'll know what that means, too. Already, the fact that no one outside the Kremlin's inner sanctum has any idea what the succession will look like is a bad sign. It's hard to talk about the rule of law in a country where power changes hands in such a thoroughly arbitrary manner.

By the same token, the nature of the presidential campaign will also reveal much more about the state of contemporary Russian political thinking than the biography of the winner. We will learn, for example, whether the Kremlin intends to go on paying lip service to democracy or if it intends soon to abandon the charade altogether. The frequency with which rules are broken; the language used about the Kremlin-ordained candidate and his opponents; the number of times said opponents are allowed to appear on television -- all of this will explain more about Russia's future political orientation than any analysis of the candidate's political beliefs, let alone his taste in after-dinner drinks.

This last point is important because it's a mistake that has been made before. In the bad old days, a new Soviet general secretary's preference for whiskey over vodka was invariably taken as a sign that he was more "pro-Western" than his predecessors. More recently, the current American president seemed to read much into the fact that his Russian counterpart wore a cross around his neck during their first meeting -- one of the factors that led President Bush to look into Putin's eyes and infamously find him "straightforward and trustworthy."

Zubkov may turn out to be trustworthy, or he may turn out to be unreliable. He may be important; he may be unimportant. He may or may not become president. But if he does, I hope his American counterpart won't try to be his best friend right away. Whether the next president is called Zubkov, Ivanov or Putin, he'll still be the product of a political system that remains mystifyingly opaque, and we shouldn't forget it.

September 14, 2007

Some recent Eurovision highlights

Abba wins the Eurovision song contest in 1974. That was one great year!

If you want to add Youtube videos to your posts, it is very simple: Just copy the complete "embed" text from the box to the right of the video on Youtube, and paste it to the body of your post. The video will then appear on the blog.
But since we are on the Eurovision subject, here is the first entry Iceland sent to the contest, the group had the catchy name "ICY", the year was 1986, and the song was titled "Gleðibankinn". Icelanders were extremely optimistic, but I think the song found few followers outside Iceland (and Finland apparently, the subtitles are in Finnish...). Since then it has become a major cultural phenomenon in Iceland. All Icelanders are familiar with this catchy tune, and know the chorus so they could sing along!

And talking about Eurovision sensations, heres the Russian t.A.T.u. who propelled themselves to major stardom with their supposedly "risque" and "lesbian" act in 2003:

The viewers very very disappointed with the Russian performance not being as suggestive as their previous live performances!
Then there is Dana International, who was the Israel entry in 1998:

Cultural conservatives in Israel were up in arms, because Dana International used to be a man. But, you know, obviously the decadent Europeans loved this show of sordid cultural decline, so Israel won the contest that year!

LA Times: Battleground Europe

The LA Times yesterday had this article by Timothy Garton Ash, who is a professor of European studies at Oxford University, its pretty good, and deals with Europe's legacy of terrorism. Since the article is long, I put it in the "Extended Entry", so click "Read more"

Battleground Europe
The Continent is a front line in the war on terror, whether its people know it or not.
By Timothy Garton Ash

September 13, 2007

To return from the United States to Europe is to travel from a country that thinks it is on the front line of the struggle against jihadist terrorism but is not, to a continent that is on the front line but still has not fully awoken to the fact.

Only a fool would rule out the possibility of another terrorist assault on what is now styled the American homeland, but the fact is that in the six years since 9/11, there have been several major attacks (Madrid, London) and foiled plots in Europe. In the United States, there have been no major attacks and, as far as we know, just a few averted conspiracies. All the evidence suggests that American Muslims are better integrated than those in Western Europe. Last week's arrest of a group apparently planning a 9/11 anniversary attack in Germany suggests that the threat to the heimat is greater than that to the U.S. homeland.

An invisible front line runs through the quiet streets of many a European city or town where there is a significant Muslim population. Whether you live in London or Oxford, Berlin or Neu-Ulm, Madrid or Rotterdam, you are on that front line -- much more than you ever were during the Cold War. This struggle is partly about intelligence and police work to prevent those who have already become fanatical, violent jihadists from blowing us up at St. Pancras or the Gare du Nord. Ordinary non-Muslim Europeans can only do a little to help this work, as well as worrying about the curtailment of civil liberties. Ordinary, peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Europeans can do a little more.

The larger part of this struggle, and the more important in the longer term, is the battle for the hearts and minds of young European Muslims -- usually men -- who are not yet violent jihadists but could become so. All over the Continent, and around its edges, there are hundreds of thousands of young Muslim men who could be tomorrow's bombers -- or tomorrow's good citizens.

The chemistry in Europe can be understood a little better by thinking back to the last wave of youth terrorism, in the "German autumn" of 30 years ago and Italy's Red Brigades. When I lived in Berlin in the late 1970s, I met quite a few people who told me, "You know, there was a moment when I could have gone either way." They could have slunk away to join the Red Army Faction, like those acquaintances of their acquaintances. Instead, they became journalists, academics or lawyers and are now pillars of a society under attack from a potentially more destructive wave of terrorism.

Of course, we cannot take the comparison too far, but one basic feature is the same: Beside the hard core of fanatics is a penumbra of people who couldchoose the wrong path. In Germany, they are called the sympathisanten -- the sympathizers. Among European Muslims, they might very roughly be correlated with those who, in surveys, refuse to condemn suicide bombings. One analyst estimates that while the hard core may make up 1% of British Muslims, the sympathisanten make up perhaps 10% of German Muslims.

If you look at the biographies of the jihadist assassins over the last six years, from the 9/11 bomber Mohamed Atta, radicalized in Hamburg, to Mohammed Bouyeri, murderer of Theo van Gogh, you find again and again the same story: young men who were first attracted to a modern, Western way of life, quite different from that of their parents, but who then angrily rejected it in favor of a violent, extremist version of political Islam.

Fortunately, there are also people who travel the other way. So much now depends on whether the 10% veer toward the barbaric 1% or rejoin the civilized majority.

Iraq is a sideshow in this larger struggle. President Bush may claim that Iraq is the front line in the war on terror, but even some of his senior commanders don't believe that. To be sure, the Iraq war has become an added grievance for disaffected Muslims everywhere, although note that Germany's nonparticipation in the Iraq war did not keep it safe. Nor should we avert our eyes from the further uncomfortable truth that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will be celebrated by violent jihadists as a victory.

But the larger truth is that a British soldier returning from Basra to Bradford (a city with a large Muslim population) will be coming from one front line to another. This invisible front line is not a military but a cultural/political one. The returning soldier may do more to reduce the threat of terrorism in Britain by his off-duty attitude toward British Muslims in his hometown than by anything he did, gun in hand, in Basra.

Afghanistan is a different matter. Rooting out the original Al Qaeda and beating back the renascent Taliban is an integral part of combating jihadist terrorism. So is trying to change the poisonous mixture of radical religion and politics in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The man who seems to have been a ringleader of the German group, a convert to Islam called Fritz Gelowicz, was radicalized in an Islamic center, the Multi-Kultur-Haus (another blow to the good name of multiculturalism), in Neu-Ulm by instructors from the toxic Wahhabi sect of Islam, based in and funded by that great American ally, Saudi Arabia. He then reportedly went for Arabic-language training in Syria and terrorist training in the border regions of Pakistan. According to German sources, the instruction to launch the anniversary attack came by e-mail from Pakistan. So death can come out of Neu-Ulm by way of Waziristan.

If we are calm, clear-sighted and resolute, we will eventually win this struggle and remain free. A continent that has rid itself of the horrors of imperialism, fascism and communism will see off this lesser menace too. But it will take many years, and we had better shape up to it.

Timothy Garton Ash, a contributing editor to Opinion, is professor of European studies at Oxford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Next week's mapquiz

Remember that we have a mapquiz next week, and you will have to have the following countries and geographic features down:
The Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, The River Rhine, The Danube River
United Kingdom, France, Italy, Netherlands, West Germany (Federal Republic) and East Germany (People's Republic), Austria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Soviet Union,
You will be working with a post 1945, pre 1989 map.

September 10, 2007

Fascinating European Tabloid News

One thing I think we could share on the blog are news, both serious and the tabloid kind, as well as snibbets of European culture. Any Eurovision buffs out there? Anyone keeping tabs on the lates scandals involving crossdressing or adultering aristocrats, or just your average moral decadence that comes with centuries of culture? Or the latest half-naked pictures of boy kissing Russian Autocrat Vladimir Putin?

While the hijinks of Italian or German aristocrats and industrialists or the strange escapades of Putin are fascinating I would encourage everyone to check out Eurovision - it is like a international "American Idol" (It includes all the European countries, plus Israel) and wildly popular in many parts of Europe. I think there is no better way to get to understand the strange and subtle differences there are within the European family of nations. And some of the stuff is not half bad popmusic. Also - its brilliant for wasting time on Youtube!

Example of a definition

This is obviously more detailed and more narrative than you are expected to do, but this one is:

"political developments in France following the riots of 68"

Although De Gaulle had triumphed over the rebellious student movement in 1969, he soon left public life in April of 1969. Voters had rejected a referendum on decentralisation and instead of facing a new political battle, De Gaull chose to retire. He would die a year later at the age of 79. In the years that followed France would see an end of the 30 glorious years that had characterized the period of rebuilding and societal renewal after the Second world War. In place of high growth rates and low unemployment, France was faced with a period in which high inflation, sparked by the oil crises of the early 1970s coincided with a period in which it was becoming less and less competitive on the world stage. The 1970s were a period in which French leaders had to grapple with de-industrialization in traditionally economically vibrant parts of France, face the further decline of small crafts people and farmers, and struggle to reign in the expenses of the welfare state which had become such an important feature of the post war consensus.

The first successor to De Gaulle was Georges Pompidou who had served as De Gaulle’s prime minister. Pompidou himself was elderly and failed to inspire many French. However, he presided over the final years of the French economic expansion through 1973. He was himself succeeded by Valery Giscard-d’Estaing, of the Centre-Right French Democratic Union (UDF). d'Estaing was supportive of many economic policies of the former Gaullist rulers, but also appeared ready to implement some reforms that had been supported by the students of 1968.

How to post definitions?

All registered students should be listed as "authors" with permission to post their own entries - so all definitions should be entered as posted entries, not as comments. However, if you have, for some reason, a hard time posting a entry feel free to post it as a comment to the weekly notice-entry from me. I will then move it to the level of a entry.
Posting all definitions as entries allows other students, and me, to comment on them.
You are encouraged to post anything else that you see fit and believe is relevant to the class topic. Refrain from spamming, or posting nonsense! (And just as inappropriate behavior is not tolerated in the classroom, and can be reflected in your grade, your behavior online will be taken itno consideration come time for grading!)

First Entry

This is the first entry, just put in here while we figure out how best to manage the system. I will be making changes to the page, and as the semester progresses, I will probably be making periodic small changes.