Book Talk: Soviet Occupation of Romania, Hungary, and Austria 1944/45–1948/49

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
6:30pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the East Central European Center for a talk with Csaba Békés and László Borhi, editors of Soviet Occupation of Romania, Hungary, and Austria 1944/45–1948/49 (CEU Press, 2015). With Istvan Deák (Professor Emeritus, Columbia University) as commentator.

 

SPEAKERS

Alexander Cooley, Chair, Director, Harriman Institute

Csaba Békés editor, István Deák Visiting Professor of History, Columbia University; Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Corvinus University of Budapest, Institute of International Studies; Cold War History Research Center, Budapest

László Borhi editor, Peter A. Kadas Chair Associate Professor at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University and Scientific Counsellor of the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. 

István Deák, Commentator, Emeritus Professor of History, Columbia University

This recently published book compares the various aspects – political, military, economic – of Soviet occupation in three key countries of the region: Austria, Hungary and Romania. Using documents found in Austrian, Hungarian, Romanian and Russian archives the authors argue that the nature of Soviet foreign policy has been largely misunderstood. Existing literature has mostly focused on Soviet foreign policy from a political perspective; when and why Stalin made the decision to introduce Bolshevik political systems in the Soviet sphere of influence. This book will show that the Soviet conquest of East-Central Europe had an imperial dimension as well and allowed the Soviet Union to use the territory it occupied as military and economic space. The final dimension of the book details the tragically human experiences of Soviet occupation: atrocities, rape, plundering and deportations.

By bringing key documents together in one single volume, this book offers penetrating new insights into Soviet policies in Romania, Hungary and Austria that also contributed to the origins of the Cold War.

Csaba BÉKÉS, Ph.D., Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is founding director of the Cold War History Research Center (www.coldwar.hu) and Research Chair at the Institute of Political Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, both in Budapest. He is also Professor of History at Corvinus University of Budapest and a recurring visiting professor at Columbia University. He is a former research fellow of the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center and the Project on the Cold War as Global Conflict at New York University. His main field of research is Cold War history, the history of East–West relations, Hungarian foreign policy after World War II, the history of the Soviet Bloc and the role of the East Central European states in the Cold War. He is the author or editor of 20 books, he is also a contributor of the three volume The Cambridge History of the Cold War (2010). He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Cold War Studies and Cold War History. His book: Hungary, the Soviet Bloc and World Politics, 1944–1991 is forthcoming.

László BORHI, Ph.D., Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is the author of several books including Hungary in the Cold War – Between the Soviet Union and the United States, 1945–1956; Dealing with Dictators – The United States, Hungary and East Central Europe, 1942–1990. Currently he is working on a book on the history of tyrannical rule in East Central Europe. He is the recipient of the Ránki György Prize of the Hungarian Historical Association in 1995, The Bezerédj Prize of the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and the Gold Cross of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, both in 2006. He is a former research fellow of the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center and the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Currently László Borhi is Peter A. Kadas Chair Associate Professor at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University and Scientific Counsellor of the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.