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A deal with the devil? Why the Soviet Union failed to eradicate nationalism

The elimination of nationalism was one of the USSR’s main stated goals throughout its history. This commitment was largely due to the fundamental clash between communism and nationalism on a theoretical level: they were two political philosophies that should have been incompatible, if implemented in an orthodox manner. However, no...

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A visit to Dachau: managing the past in the present

A web of expectations I have just arrived in Bavaria where I will be spending the next 12 months at the University of Augsburg. It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon at the beginning of August. And, armed with one of the famous “Land tickets” that allow you to go wherever you...

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“A Convenient Stick With Which to Beat the West”: Northern Ireland Under Soviet Eyes

A 1981 ‘Pravda’ article discusses the H-Block hunger strikes The Northern Irish Troubles present a complex narrative to historians. The histories of all sides in the conflict are resplendent with injustices and obfuscations. Yet for contemporary correspondents of anti-Western states, from Tehran to Moscow, the story was tragically simple: a minority...

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What did the Nazis believe in?

Religion in Nazi Germany is not often discussed, but it played an important role in the way the Nazi party and German society viewed and understood their everyday lives. My research involves looking into a specific generation, the Hitler Youth generation, who were children born around 1929 in Nazi Germany....

The Women's Land Army, Vita Sackville-West The Transformation of the Land Girl 0

How was the Women’s Land Army viewed in 1944?

‘The Women’s Land Army’ by Vita Sackville-West (written under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) was the first self-conscious attempt to highlight the efforts of the organisation in saving the country from starvation, published in 1944. The book includes information on the experiences of Land Girls and...

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The Atomic Bomb turns 70, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Today, and on August 9, we remember the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in all their devastation and the long term effects of radiation poisoning. A former British Army soldier (name removed for anonymity) reflected on the bombings, stating, “They were the best thing that could have happened to...

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The Third Crusade: The Fight for the Kingdom of Heaven

In 1187 Outremer (the collective lands conquered by the crusaders) experienced its first major loss since Edessa in 1147 – the loss of Jerusalem at the hands of Saladin. Jerusalem was the primary aim of the First Crusade, and after this event would be the cause of all subsequent major...

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Reconstructing the history of mental illness at Museo Laboratorio della Mente

If you visit the Museo Laboratorio della Mente in Rome expecting a typical museum, you’ll be disappointed. The museum is housed in the northern part of the Italian capital, in a neighborhood called Monte Mario, in a former psychiatric hospital (Manicomio) called Santa Maria della Pietà. The whole complex is...