This article appeared first on the Pardee School of Global Studies website:
Thomas Berger, Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, said that Austria had a mixed record in reckoning with its past in World War II.
Berger made the argument on a Nov. 4 Broadcast of Rear Vision, a program on ABC Australia Radio, entitled “Austria Struggles to Come to Grips with Nazi Past.”
Saving an Ancestral Cemetery BU alum searches for Jewish headstones used by Nazis to fortify roads
By Lara Ehrlich
Icek Wluka led his son David through the iron gates of Auschwitz. It was 1988, the first time he had returned to Poland since the war, and he remembered every inch of the camp where his seven siblings had died. Wluka showed David the barracks where he had slept from age 20 to 23, the crematorium where he had been forced to work, and the field where he had sown potatoes with a rifle pressed to his head.
Hoping to evoke the life the Nazis had ripped from him 46 years earlier, Icek brought his son four hours north to his ancestral hometown, Nowy Dwór, Poland. He wanted to show David where he came from: his house, his father’s blacksmith shop, the synagogue, and the cemetery where his father was buried. But the Nazis had purged every trace of the 4,000 Jews who once lived in Nowy Dwór. Even the cemetery was gone. The Nazis had used the caskets, sand, and bones for concrete and the matzevot (headstones) to fortify the roads for their tanks.
“There’s no sign that it ever was a cemetery,” says David Wluka (CGS’66, CAS’68, GRS’70). “It was just a big vacant field with holes.” Squatters had taken up residence on the land that “belonged to no one. There was no place to go back to, where our roots were, and see the house or go to the cemetery. We had no history we could put our hands on.”
There, the father and son said the Mourner’s Kaddish for the Jews who had been exhumed from this sacred ground, and Wluka was swept with emotion, watching his father praying in the barren field. When they left Poland, David and Icek were determined to save the cemetery, but life intervened, and it would be more than 20 years before David could revive the lost history of the town where his father was born.
Last week, Vivien Schmidt, Director of BU’s Center for the Study of Europe, travelled to London to deliver the Kleh Family Foundation Distinguished Lecture on “The Eurozone Crisis: A Problem of Economics or Politics.” Over 100 people attended the sold-out event at the Boston University London Center in South Kensington.
In her lecture, Schmidt argued that Eurozone crisis is not just about the economics, it is also about politics. The EU’s flawed economic policies have left Europe at risk of deflation, with slow growth, high unemployment, rising inequality, and a humanitarian crisis threatening the poorest Europeans. The toxic politics in response have become increasingly Eurosceptic and volatile, as citizens’ loss of trust and confidence in national governments and the EU have resulted in the cycling of incumbent governments and the rise of extremist parties and populist movements. The EU’s governance processes, focused on ‘governing by the rules and ruling by the numbers,’ have only exacerbated these problems, while also undermining national democracies. Is there any way out of the Eurozone crisis for the EU? Following her discussion of the challenges facing the EU in the crisis, Schmidt speculated on possible scenarios for the future.
The European Commission has just released the new call for proposals for the 2016 Erasmus+ program.
The Erasmus+ program includes a mobility program for US students, faculty, and staff as well as other funding opportunities (such as the Jean Monnet program) for both individuals and universities to engage with the European Union and its Member States.
Cornel Ban, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University and an expert in the political economy of crises and transitions has just published an article in the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS).
Ban’s article, which he co-wrote with Daniela Gabor of the University of the West of England, is titled “Banking on Bonds: The New Links Between States and Markets” (DOI: 10.1111/jcms.12309). It was released on Oct. 12.
We are delighted to share the following news from Alisdair Young, Chair of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA). EUSA has been successful in two European grant competitions – Getting to Know Europe (GTKE) and the Jean Monnet Programme. These grants will enable EUSA to take on an additional role and to launch several new initiatives.
Under the GTKE grant, EUSA will facilitate cooperation among the Jean Monnet Programme’s initiatives in the U.S. Due to changes in Commission funding, the European Union Centers of Excellence (EUCEs) in the U.S. are being discontinued, with funding of all such activities now taking place through the Jean Monnet Programme, most notably through Centers of Excellence. In response to this shift, EUSA will support coordination of Jean Monnet-related activities in the U.S. This will include organizing an annual coordination meeting, incorporating coordination events as part of the biennial conference, and hosting the Jean Monnet network on the EUSA website. This is an exciting opportunity to better integrate efforts to study the EU in the U.S.
As part of the two-year GTKE grant, one of the plenary sessions at the conference will be open to the public as an outreach event. The grant will also enable us to increase our support for graduate student participation at the conference. In addition, the grant will help to support the continuing transformation of the EUSA webpage into a more valuable portal to resources on the EU and EU studies.
The three-year Association Grant under the Jean Monnet Programme will enable EUSA to sponsor a member-directed workshop in the U.S. in each of the non-conference years of the grant (2016 and 2018). Further details, including how to apply, will be forthcoming shortly. The Association grant will also support efforts to enhance EUSA’s social media presence.
We are grateful to the European Commission for its support for EUSA’s efforts to promote understanding of the EU.
Watch this short video of our director Vivien Schmidt promoting the sixteenth edition of Social policy in the European Union: State of Play. The book has a triple ambition. First, it provides easily accessible information to a wide audience about recent developments in both EU and domestic social policymaking. Second, the volume provides a more analytical reading, embedding the key developments of the year 2014 in the most recent academic discourses. Third, the forward-looking perspective of the book aims to provide stakeholders and policymakers with specific tools that allow them to discern new opportunities to influence policymaking.
In this 2015 edition of Social policy in the European Union: state of play, the authors tackle the topics of the state of EU politics after the parliamentary elections, the socialisation of the European Semester, methods of political protest, the Juncker investment plan, the EU’s contradictory education investment, the EU’s contested influence on national healthcare reforms, and the neoliberal Trojan Horse of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Vivien Schmidt spoke recently at State of Play 2015, a daylong conference highlighting the state of social policy in the European Union held on Sept. 23 at the headquarters of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, Belgium. The conference was held to commemorate the publication of the 16th edition of “Social Policy in the European Union,” the flagship publication of the European Trade Union Institute.
Schmidt, who also contributed research to “Social Policy in the European Union,” spoke on the topic of “Changing the policies, politics, and processes of the Eurozone in crisis: will this time be different?”
Other attendees at the State of Play 2015 conference included EU labor leaders, European academics, and trade organizations.
The 2015 edition of “Social Policy in the European Union” tackles the topics of the state of EU politics after the parliamentary elections, the socialisation of the European Semester, methods of political protest, the Juncker investment plan, the EU’s contradictory education investment, the EU’s contested influence on national healthcare reforms, and the neoliberal Trojan Horse of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Edited by Seán Hand and Steven T. Katz
Despite an outpouring of scholarship on the Holocaust, little work has focused on what happened to Europe’s Jewish communities after the war ended. And unlike many other European nations in which the majority of the Jewish population perished, France had a significant post‑war Jewish community that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945–1955 offers new insight on key aspects of French Jewish life in the decades following the end of World War II.
How Jews had been treated during the war continued to influence both Jewish and non-Jewish society in the post-war years. The volume examines the ways in which moral and political issues of responsibility combined with the urgent problems and practicalities of restoration, and it illustrates how national imperatives, international dynamics, and a changed self-perception all profoundly helped to shape the fortunes of postwar French Judaism.Comprehensive and informed, this volume offers a rich variety of perspectives on Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology.
With contributions from leading scholars, including Edward Kaplan, Susan Rubin Suleiman, and Jay Winter, the book establishes multiple connections between such different areas of concern as the running of orphanages, the establishment of new social and political organisations, the restoration of teaching and religious facilities, and the development of intellectual responses to the Holocaust. Comprehensive and informed, this volume will be invaluable to readers working in Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology.