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Displaying: 41-60 of 179 documents


i. science before, after and beyond the iron curtain

41. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Mirosław Sikora

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This paper examines how the Polish communist intelligence service attempted to recruit professor Stefan Węgrzyn, who was a prominent specialist on automatic control and computer science in post-war Poland. Eventually, Węgrzyn’s refusal to cooperate with the Polish spy agency, together with his profound relationship with French scientist and servomechanism expert Jean Charles Gille, made them both targets of surveillance orchestrated by the communist security apparatus.In the broader context of human-intelligence studies, this case study involves the problem of moral ambiguity. We experience informative examples of scientists, who often – not only during the Cold War – have had to choose between commitment to the rules of the academic world, along with its openness and transparency on the one hand, and patriotism including an ethos of secrecy for the sake of the homeland’s prosperity, on the other hand.
42. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Luciana Jinga

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The paper investigates how formal/informal networks of scientists, while facilitating the scientific West-East transfer in the Cold War context, shaped the scientific field of sexology by imposing personal scientific credos, in a particular national context. The paper shows that in the Cold War context, sexual science was present in Communist Romania, but neither as imitation of the regional scholarship, nor as a simple reproduction of western advancements in the field. The post-war Romanian scholarship in the field of sexology was the result of scientific interests of Stefan Milcu – long time party protégée and respected member of the international scientific community – and of its personal circle that included remarkable personalities such as Victor Săhleanu or Tudor Stoica. Presenting the public with information about sexual and re­productive functions, and sometimes even elaborated descriptions of sexual techniques, certainly was never meant to enhance the individual gratification or provoke any form of sexual revolution. The Romanian production of sex/educational manuals and of sexology works was part of a state policy towards a better, stable, family life, aiming for collective and social happiness.

ii. science as a tool of soft power

43. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Corina Doboș

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The present article proposes an examination of the disciplinary evolution of demographic research in Communist Romania, as a case study of the mutually constitutive, multifaceted relationship between science, politics, ideology and memory. My research tries to compensate for the lack of access to the archives of the central institutions for population research during Communism (the National Institute of Statistics and the National Commission of Demography), by combining published sources (mainly scientific works, but also histories of demography and personal memoirs), with different archival documents, mainly coming from personal funds of two population researchers (Sabin Manuilă and Ștefan Milcu), from the fund of the Central Commission for Planning, of the Chancellery of the Romanian Communist Party and from diplomatic archives. I pay attention to the side of the story offered by the actors themselves, focusing on the way in which the legacy of interwar demography was assumed and invoked in different post-war accounts regarding the history of demographic discipline in Romania. By doing so, I seek to contribute to writing a history of science as a product of complex entanglements between the different factors that circumscribe the process of knowledge production within a larger social and political context: specific professional interests and institutional settings, subjective interpretations, ideological pressures and attempts of political control.
44. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Irina Nastasă-Matei

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Romania was the first country in the Eastern bloc to initiate diplo­matic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany. On January 31, 1967, the Embassy of the FRG was opened in Bucharest, Romania. In this context, which marked the intensification of the cultural exchange between the two countries, with special attention paid to the exchange of students and researchers, in this article I aim to tackle the situation of the Humboldt fellows from Romania during 1965-1989, as agents of knowledge transfer and actors of soft-power strategies between the two blocks.

iii. phylosophy from metaphysics to materialism

45. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Cristian Vasile

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This paper examines some aspects of the institutional history of post-war Romanian philosophy, with a special focus on the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of People’s Republic of Romania. The aim of this article is to shed more light on the main aspects of philosophical research during cultural Stalinism, and to underline the inflexion points within Romanian “philosophical” writings between 1948 and 1965. I examined the lack of human resources and its impact on the emergence of Marxist-Leninist philosophy, as well as the main research topics studied at the Philosophy Section of the Institute of History and Philosophy and Institute of Philosophy especially in the 1950s. I focused also on the context of unmasking and purging of the “philosophical” front mainly in late 1950s, underlining the Agitprop fight against Revisionism and “bourgeois” influence in social sciences. The avatars of the philosophical field are analysed through the lens of professor’s Constantin Ionescu Gulian’s destiny as an important manager of the institutions producing philosophy during the aforementioned period.
46. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Daniela Maci

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The text approaches the status of Romanian philosophy during the communist period from two points of view: a) that of speech: while a new philosophical vocabulary becomes official, the old one fades away; b) that of the communist educational system. My analysis will consider the first period (1950-1960) in which “the new philosophy” (Dialectical Materialism, DIAMAT) was disseminated in society, and the second period (1970-1980) in which Marxism could not be reduced to DIAMAT. Are these periods subsumed to the universal ideology (DIAMAT) or not?

iv. book review

47. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9
Ana Teodorescu

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48. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 9

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argument

49. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Luciana M. Jinga

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i. depicting gender in communist magazines

50. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Julia Mead, Kristen Ghodsee

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Contrary to the accepted Cold War stereotypes about state socialist mass women’s organizations, we will show that Communist leaders were attentive to the construction of gender roles and used women’s magazines as a forum to discuss openly the changing ideals of masculinity and femininity. Through a discourse analysis of articles in Vlasta (Czechoslovakia) and Zhenata Dnes (Bulgaria), our article will interrogate the categories of “man” and “woman” and their negotiation during the Communist era on the pages of official state magazines. In the Bulgarian case, we will discuss key articles that explicitly dealt with the importance of fathers and fatherhood, as for the case of Czechoslovakia, we will examine a series of articles and letters in which women’s union leaders and ordinary citizens discuss women’s entry into the workforce that had previously been the purview of men.
51. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Graziano Mamone

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A new feminist ideology can be outlined by examining the magazine “Lotta Continua”, official newspaper of the homonymous Italian extra-parliamentary group. Riots in factories and universities were closely reported in the magazine, which painted a society still affected by strong gender inequalities. Split between an opposition to official communism and the spontaneity of the working class conflict, women emerged from family isolation. The great achievements of the Italian feminist movement were reported according to the point of view of the dissident communism. While in Italy the feminist movement was on the rise, the organisation was approaching its end, also due to its conflict with feminist protests. This paper wants to re-construct the image and the representation of left-wing feminism, in a crucial moment for the history of Italian society and communism.
52. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Luciana M. Jinga

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The paper focuses on the manifestations of structural and symbolic violence against women during the communist regime by addressing the most important mechanisms and embedded beliefs that allowed the proliferation of spousal violence in communist Romania, in what I see as a continuation of the interwar patriarchal state, and a bridge to the new discriminatory policies developed by the democratic structures, after 1990.

ii. activist women for or against

53. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Ágota Lídia Ispán

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‘Woman questions’ were emphasized in common speech during the time of the party-state in Hungary. In the 1950s this was symbolized by women tractor drivers, Stakhanovites in construction industry, or women who were present in public life and in politics. Mrs Mihály Berki, née Magdolna Szakács was one of the first emblematic female politicians who was appointed the first peasant woman főispán [honorary prefect] from a village at the end of 1948. The central elements of her life story were the social and geographical mobility: how could she adapt to the new roles and environments? What kind of competences did she need? How did she acquire them? Did the image of a peasant woman politician with a kerchief change during her career? I intend to outline a wider social context in connection with the determining features of her career such as her being a female, her peasant background and her institutional socialization.
54. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Łukasz Bertram

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The aim of this article is to present the collective portrait of the 40 women occupying the highest posts in the communist party and state apparatus in Poland during the Stalinist period. It focuses on the vast majority of people involved in the communist movement, while it also examines the cases of Socialists and women from the younger generation. The first part of the study presents the milieus they came from, their educational and professional careers and – above all – the motivations and patterns of their political engagement. The second part engages with their position in the structures of power, as well as the circumstances of their political advances and declines. The key biographical category is that of “widowhood”, understood both literally – considering the percentage of women whose husbands were killed by Soviets or Germans – and symbolically – as a bitter disappointment with the Idea and its realization.
55. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Iemima Ploscariu

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In communist Romania, as in other Central and East European communist countries, women became fellow workers in the building of the new proletariat state. However, there was a discrepancy between state rhetoric and the treatment of women in reality. Though not the most targeted faith group in communist Romania, neo-Protestant women faced, nevertheless, multiple levels of marginalization, due to their sex and to their religion. These women re-appropriated the state’s gender equality rhetoric and, along with their faith, produced a sense of personal agency, which allowed them to overcome barriers in their various communities.
56. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Jan A. Burek

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The author presents the changing role of women and of the attitudes towards them in the PWP (the Polish Workers’ Party) and the PSP (the Polish Socialist Party) in a midsize industrial town in Central Poland in the years 1945-1948. During the war, women of the PWP were promoted to the highest positions in the party structures, however, due to the quick reaffirmation of gender roles in the post-1945 period, they were relegated to lower posts. Their political influence was thereafter limited solely to the care sector which was considered their natural domain. In turn, the PSP gained importance in the post-war period only after A. Tomaszewska, a woman and an influential prewar labour organizer, took charge of it in 1946. Under her leadership, the Socialists renewed their ties with women workers of the town’s main textile factory and challenged the Communist party.
57. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Natalia Jarska

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The paper aims at tracing a collective portrait and the trajectories of a group of about forty women active in the communist movement after Poland had regained independence (1918), and after the Second World War. I explore the relations between gender, communist activity, and the changing circumstances of the communist movement (conspiracy/state socialism). I argue that interwar activities shaped women communists as radical, uncompromising, and questioning traditional femininity political agents, accepted as comrades at every organisational level. This image and identity, though, contributed to the creation of the gender division of political work after the war, when women were assigned specific roles as guardians of revolutionary past. The post-war situation of state socialism with the communist party as the ruling party assigned women mainly to invisible, secondary positions.
58. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Rachele Ledda

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This contribution aims to outline the birth and development of the Unione Donne Italiane (UDI) in regard to its relations with the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI) from 1944 to 1963.The present research has drawn mainly from archival sources.UDI was born as a multi-party women’s organization but the hegemony of the Communist women would de facto bring it under the influence of the PCI. The Italian Communist Party tried to perform a normative and normalizing task. By the logic of the Cold War, women were relegated to deal mainly with the defence of peace, both nationally and internationally.From the international point of view, UDI was among the founding organizations of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF). Gradually, the Unione began to accrue dissent even within the WIDF, leading to an internal struggle on the path to emancipation that the organization was already developing within its national context.
59. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Ştefan Bosomitu

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The article discusses this intricate issue of women’s anti-Fascist/communist activism during World War II in Romania. I am particularly interested in the relationship that developed between the Romanian Communist Party and the women who joined the movement in the complicated context of World War II. The article is attempting to assess whether women’s increased involvement in the communist organization was due to the previous and continuous politics of the RCP, or it was a mere consequence of unprecedented circumstances. The article also addresses issues related to the legacy of the anti-Fascist/communist women’s struggle during World War II, in their attempt to establish postwar public careers, but also the manner in which their efforts and activisms were recognized and/or recompensed (or not) after the war.

iii. his narratives – her narration: women in texts

60. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 8
Agnieszka Mrozik

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The objective of this article is to revise the dominating narrative of communism as male generational history. With the aid of memoirs of communist women, many of whom started their political activity before WWII and belonged to the power-wielding elites of Stalinist Poland, the author shows that the former constituted an integral part of the generation which had planned a revolution and ultimately took over power. Their texts were imbued with a matrilineal perspective on the history of communism: the authors emphasized that other women had strongly motivated them to become involved in politics. However, the memoirs revealed something more: as an attempt to establish new models of emancipation and to transmit them to younger generations of women, they were to rekindle the memory of women as the active agent of that part of Polish history which contemporary feminists refuse to remember.