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Alexander Korb
Research Fellow (10/2013 – 03/2014)

 

The end of Violence. Transformation in Yugoslavia, 1944-1953.

 

KORBMy last book was dedicated to the research of mass violence that shook the Balkan during the Second World War. I will now use my stay at the VWI in order to address the question of how violence comes to an end. The German capitulation on May 8, 1945 did not necessarily signify the onset of peace; this is particularly true for Southeast and East Central Europe. The civil wars that had erupted under German occupation in many cases continued for months to come; not only Jewish survivors faced grave difficulties in recovering their possessions or returning to their apartments and houses; in several places, returning Jews were murdered by the local villagers, other places saw the eruption of pogroms. At the same time, the mass persecutions and resettlements of members of those ethnic groups that were considered collaborators escalated, as civil war, guerrilla warfare, ethnic cleansing, pogroms, revenge violence and the violent communist takeover of power all combined to form a dense scenario of violence that shaped many parts of Southeast and East Central Europe. The survivors of the violence of the Second World War found themselves in another threatening situation, some of them had to continue to fight. I want to use the example of Yugoslavia in order to research the transition from war to peace and understand the end of violence. The research will contribute to a book project I am working on together with Dieter Pohl as well as being the subject of an article. Beyond that, I will work on a special edition of a magazine together with Philipp Ther during my time in Vienna. This special edition will provide a platform to the authors we had invited to the Vienna conference „Homogenising Southeastern Europe. Balkan Wars, Ethnic Cleansing and Postwar Ethnic Engineering since 1912" in 2012.

 

Alexander Korb studied history and gender studies at universities in Berlin as well as spending several semesters studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, Prague and Voronezh (Russian Federation). His Masters thesis on the German population's reaction to the November pogroms 1938 was awarded with a prize by the foundation "20. Juli 1944" and was published in book form in 2008. He achieved his doctorate in 2010 at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin with a dissertation that was published in 2013 as „Im Schatten des Weltkriegs. Massengewalt der Ustaša gegen Serben, Juden und Roma in Kroatien 1941–1945" [In the shadows of the world war. Ustaša mass violence against Serbs, Jews and Roma in Croatia, 1941-1945] at Hamburger Edition, and which has already been awarded five research awards, including the Fraenkel Prize of the Wiener Library London. Since 2010, Korb has been lecturer in Contemporary European History at the University of Leicester (GB), where he is also deputy director of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

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