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Cleaning house: the German expulsion from postwar Poland and the consolidation of communist rule

As part of the more general dismemberment of the former German Reich at the end of the Second World War, several eastern German territories (East Prussia and Upper Silesia, along with most of Lower Silesia and parts of Brandenburg and Pomerania) were transferred to Poland by the Potsdam agreements of...

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Towns Established by Former Slaves in Antebellum US

Much has changed since the end of the United States Civil War (1861-1865). Today marks the 150th anniversary of the war. Towns established by former slaves, a legacy of the civil war, are slowly dying out as a result of constant urbanisation and not enough knowledge of how to preserve minority historical heritage. These towns should and must be preserved as part of the history of the aftermath of the war.

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Diao Chan (貂蝉) — A Beauty in Three Kingdoms and Her Mysterious Ending

As one of Four Great Beauties of ancient China, Diao Chan (貂蝉) is the only one that stems from Chinese fiction and dramas with no historical reference. The other three, Wang Zhaojun (王昭君), Xi Shi (西施) and Yang Yuhuan (杨玉环) are well established in ancient Chinese history and are recorded...

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Third Reich Feminism: Girls’ education in the Nazi period

German girls’ educational and life choices in Nazi Germany are controversial; while Nazi propaganda depicted girls and women in roles of motherhood, girls and young women lived much freer lives than in earlier decades. Although girls’ education was hit hard by the Great Depression, and education was greatly feminised to...

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The First Crusade: A Beginning in 1095

Preceded by a visit from Byzantine officials, Pope Urban II set out to launch a holy expedition into the East. The historiography that surrounds this expedition attests to the reach of its conclusion: the capture of Jerusalem in 1099. But was this Urban’s sole motivation or did he have underlying reasons for launching the crusade?

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‘Playing with the Past’ and the interplay of history and video games (book review)

For a lifelong fan of video games, who has more recently transmogrified into an aspiring historian, the chance to review this book was too good to pass up. As its title suggests, ‘Playing with the Past’ brings together a collection of essays on the ways in which games present, discuss and promote...

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One Man’s Bible

In my previous post, I wrote a brief analysis of the traumatic mechanism in Alain Resnais’ and Marguerite Duras’ Hiroshima Mon Amour . This post will continue to explore another traumatic experience displayed in Gao Xingjian’s One Man’s Bible (1999) . The comparison between the two will further clarify the operation...

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The resonance of ruins: postwar German rubble discourse in the Trümmerzeit

The Trümmerzeit, or ‘rubble era’, is a term used in German historiography to define that period of ‘“sluggish and murky transitions”’ between the collapse of the Third Reich and Germany’s subsequent division during the Cold War. Germany was intact for the present, and its history and fate were still considered those...