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From below and in between. Narrating and Practicing the Cold War in South East Europe - A workshop report

The rivalry of the systems following 1945 brought about a political fragmentation in a small area in Southeastern Europe that was second to none. The consideration of the region as a "focal point of the Cold War" is therefore almost inevitable, in order to discuss interactions between global power constellations and local characteristics and continuities.
Janis Nalbadidacis and Matthias Thaden on a workshop at the HU Berlin.


Living (again) in an Age of Nuclear Fear. New Avenues for Studying Cold War Civil Defense

This year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock dial forward to two minutes to midnight. The symbolic gesture shows that the threat of nuclear war still looms, long after the end of the Cold War. In this article, Sarah Robey, Silvia Berger Ziauddin and Peter Bennesved consider the new age of nuclear fear, emphasize a need to push the boundaries of Cold War civil defense studies and outline the scope of the newly established Transnational Civil Defense Working Group.


The mobilization system of the GDR. An insight into militarized socialism

In the case of an escalation of the East-West conflict, all sectors of East German society were expected to meet the wartime needs of the National People's Army - the NVA – and fully support the operations of the country's forces and those of its allies. Already during peacetime, large parts of the GDR population had therefore been integrated into sweeping mobilization preparations. By Johannes Mühle.


A lasting web of exchanges: Italy and the GDR in the 1970s and 1980s

East Germany and Italy were both peculiar cases in the Cold War. Similarly affected by structural frailties – weak economies, controversial relations with their respective allies, and mounting social unrest – they had limited leeway in international relations. Laura Fasanaro reflects on the history, politics, and geographic positions of both countries during the Cold War.


The Czechoslovak Port in Hamburg in the Cold War. A project presentation

Established in 1928, the Czechoslovak port in Hamburg quickly became an important foreign trade hub for the landlocked Central European state. The port retained this importance after 1945, but this time as a Socialist outpost, 60 kilometers outside the Iron Curtain. Operating at full capacity and with open borders, this daily confrontation of political systems resulted in a unique microcosm. Sarah Lemmen presents her cultural historical research project.


Interrogation Nation: Refugees and Spies in Cold War Germany

In Interrogation Nation: Refugees and Spies in Cold War Germany, historian Keith R. Allen analyzes the "overlooked story of refugee screening in West Germany" (p. xv). Building upon his previous German-language study focused on such screening at Marienfelde in West Berlin, Allen examines the places, personalities, and practices of refugee screening by the three Western Powers and the Federal Republic. Review by Douglas Selvage.


THE SINO-INDIAN BORDER WAR 1962. New Perspectives

A new volume, edited by Amit R. Das Gupta and Lorenz Lüthi, provides fresh insights into the brief 1962 border war that left India with lasting trauma. Eleven authors and twelve chapters survey the background, policies, and errors surrounding the event, using both new and existing archival materials. Among the novelties: Amit Das Gupta on India's policy, Dai Chaowu on China's policy, and Payal Banerjee on the little known wartime plight of India’s Chinese citizens. A review by Jyotirmoy Banerjee.


Carefully Guarded Criticism: India's position on the 1965 American intervention in the Dominican Republic

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the American intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965 emerged as a volatile issue in the rivalry between the superpowers. The Soviet Union put considerable pressure on India – in its role as an important player in the non-aligned movement – to take sides. Binay Prasad discusses how India handled the situation, balancing its own interests with those of the non-aligned movement.


An Anti-Revisionist United Front? The Beijing-Pyongyang Axis in the International Communist Movement of the early 1960s

Since 1950, the relationship between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been described by Chinese official media as an "unbreakable friendship" that was "always stable." Recent studies on their bilateral relations, however, tell quite a different story. The Sino-North Korean relationship not only repeatedly fell on hard times during the Cold War, the "traditional friendship" actually never really existed. By Tao Chen.